Microsoft goes public with what's next for Windows Intune

Microsoft goes public with what's next for Windows Intune

Summary: Microsoft plans to deliver new updates to its Intune device-management service next week, and a handful of others later this year.


On January 29, Microsoft peeled back the covers on what's next for its Windows Intune device-management and security service.


Next week, Microsoft will be rolling out a handful of Windows Intune updates to current subscribers.

Microsoft officials are talking up Windows Intune's ability to work as a cloud-only service as if it were something new. (I'm not sure if this is really new. Update: It's not, though there are some new capabilities that are now cloud-only. More at the end of this post.) Last year, Microsoft made System Center Configuration Manager integration a centerpiece of its Intune push, and that capability still remains.

Microsoft officials also shared today this list of new features coming to Windows Intune subscribers as of next week:

• Ability for the administrator to configure email profiles, which can automatically configure the device with the appropriate email server information and related policies, as well as the ability to remove the profile along with the email itself via a remote wipe if needed.
• Support for new configuration settings in iOS 7, including the "Managed open in" capability to protect corporate data by controlling which apps and accounts are used to open documents and attachments, and disabling the fingerprint unlock feature.
• Ability for the administrator to remotely lock the device if it is lost or stolen, and reset the password if the user forgets it.

The team also provided a "sneak peek" of additional new features that will be coming at some point later this year for Intune subscribers. On that list:

• Deeper email management, including conditional access to Exchange email inboxes depending on if the device is managed
• Ability to define application restrictions, through direct platform management as well as “wrapping” policy around unmanaged applications, giving administrators the ability to define how an application interacts with data and block undesirable functions such as cut and paste to other apps
• Bulk enrollment of mobile devices, specifically useful for devices not used by a single user or knowledge worker, including kiosks, student devices, or those used in retail
• Allow or deny apps from running on mobile devices
• Web browser management, including URL filtering to manage which web sites mobile devices can access

Microsoft's most recent update to its Windows Intune device-management service came in October 2013. That update is believed to have been codenamed "Wave E."

Last year, getting information about what was coming with Windows Intune was like pulling teeth. It's nice to see the team opening up about its plans this year.

Update: Microsoft officials, when I asked, acknowledged that Windows Intune has been a standalone cloud service since its launch. However, according to one of my contacts, there are a few capabilities that previously required Intune plus Config Manager that now can be handled through Intune only, including VPN, Wi-Fi, app-triggered VPN definitions  and certification enrollment.

Topics: Mobility, Cloud, Microsoft, Windows


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Looks like doubles

    Looks like some copying and pasting got away there MJ. :)
    • copy/paste fail now fixed

      Yes. The futures list is now correct. Sorry and thanks. MJ
      Mary Jo Foley
  • Just in the middle of a MDM rollout

    Using Fiberlink Mas360 and almost all of the new features are already in this product. Not sure why MS is always kinda behind in functions and features in many of their products. Hyper-V is an example. But then MS is a jack of all trades sorta company.
    Rann Xeroxx
    • Couple of differences

      We've got Maas360 and have entertained Intune:
      1. Maas360 is WAY more expensive than Intune
      2. Intune's approach is agentless which is appealing, but can be limiting.
  • Features missing

    We entertained Intune but couldn't pull the trigger because:
    1. It doesn't offer Geolocate. In fact, MS told us this was cut due to privacy issues. I say, put the feature in and let me worry about that. If they are that worried, they could make a "geo locate" role in the admin panel that only gives access to those users.
    2. Intune doesn't offer app specific VPN back to corporate data. How are we supposed to write mobile apps if the MDM doesn't offer a method to get back to data? The Mobile Iron are going customer to customer telling of this deficiency in Intune. The strategy here is that they want as many customers as quickly as possible because once Intune catches up it will be hard to jump ship.
    • Remote Assistance

      Real question, when is this coming for 8/8.1? Its killing upgrades for small shops where I don't have AD servers and trying to get stations setup with built in 8 remote assistance is a no go without an email client. This is extremely frustrating that Microsoft removes feature sets in newer releases without viable alternative
  • MS picks a new CEO and no story ?!?

    ummm, you are supposed to be my MS go to person. I had to find this out from my non-technical brother. What's the deal MJ?
  • Finally Satya Nadella gets the job

    It was pretty obvious all along, but a little sad that MS board seem to take an age to reach the most sensible conclusion. Hardly inspiring to your own talent, to take so many months reaching thsi conclusion.
    • Where does that link say it's a done deal?

      Even the headline is, "Microsoft thought to be preparing to appoint Satya Nadella as CEO."