Microsoft is rolling out two new features as part of its Windows Intune mobile-device management service over the next few days.
According to an August 28 Windows Intune blog post, between August 26 and September 2, Microsoft will add to Windows Intune:
- iOS and Windows Phone 8/8.1 Email Profile Provisioning: Allows admins to provision devices with email profiles and restrictions by using Exchange ActiveSync, providing users to access corporate email on their devices with minimal setup.
- Mobile Policy Support for Enterprise Mode in Internet Explorer for Windows 8.1/8.1 RT: Adds support for the previously introduced Enterprise Mode in Internet Explorer 11 on Windows 8.1 Update 1. Enterprise Mode is a compatibility mode that allows IE 11 to emulate IE 8.
Both of these new features will be available to Intune users running Intune as standalone service. The email profile-provisioning feature already is available to customers using Intune with System Center Configuration Manager; the Enterprise Mode feature is not yet available to those using Intune with Configuration Manager but soon will be.
Back in May, Microsoft execs said there would be a number of new features coming to Intune in the third and fourth quarters this year. Microsoft is updating Intune with new features and functionality "every few months" at this point, officials said.
In the fourth quarter, Microsoft officials said to expect new management capabilities for applications and data across a variety of mobile operating systems. Microsoft officials said users running Office and Outlook Web App on mobile devices will be able to access corporate data in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneDrive for Business and OWA Mobile in a managed way.
"These managed Office applications will be available for iOS and Android phones shortly after the release of the Q4 update to Windows Intune," officials said. (In the interim, Microsoft has a Rights Management (RMS)-centric stop-gap solution for managing and protecting Office documents on non-Microsoft mobile platforms.)
The Intune team also committed to providing an app-wrapping tool that will let businesses wrap management policies around existing internal line-of-business applications and distribute those apps via Intune. The wrapping tool will work on iOS and Android.
The Intune team also will be enabling admins to require certain Web links, like those in email attachments to be accessed only from a protected browser (which Microsoft said it plans to provide). Managed PDF, audio and video viewers are coming, as well, officials said earlier this year, as will bulk enrollment tools for iOS and Android devices. Support for Apple's Configurator tool for locking down policies is on the roadmap, as well.
Windows Intune is a key component of Microsoft's Enterprise Mobility Suite, as well as a separately available service.