What's next for Microsoft's Windows Intune management service

What's next for Microsoft's Windows Intune management service

Summary: The next version of Microsoft's Windows Intune device-management service includes broader device support and additional System Center integration.

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Microsoft officials are disclosing some of the new capabilities that will be coming to the next release of its Windows Intune device-management service during the TechEd North America conference this week.

intunedevices

Windows Intune is Microsoft's device-management and security service that the company launched back in 2011. The most recent version, known as Windows Intune Wave D, was finalized in December 2012 and made widely available earlier this year. Wave D provided the foundation for users to manage Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, Windows RT, and other Microsoft and non-Microsoft devices.

I asked Microsoft officials this week for more about what's new in the next Intune release. The following is what they told me, via a spokesperson.

Windows Intune "Wave E" (which should be the code name if Microsoft sticks with current naming conventions) is going to be integrated more tightly with the next version of Microsoft's Configuration Manager product — known as Configuration Manager 2012 R2, which is part of System Center 2012 R2.

Due to be released simultaneously with System Center 2012 R2, Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows 8.1 ("Blue"), the next Intune release supports further integration of the Intune Web service into the Configuration Manager console and management infrastructure.

With the coming version, the combined Intune and Configuration Manager 2012 R2 releases will add support for selective wipe, expand the availability of management settings across devices, add native Android client support, and provide a consistent company portal across platforms, officials said.

In a June 4 blog post about the coming Intune changes, Microsoft officials distinguished between what users/admins will be able to do with Configuration Manager 2012 R2 alone, versus what they'll be able to do when using the new Configuration Manager with Intune.

From that post:

By itself, System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager can:

  • Deploy and manage Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2

  • Provision certificates, Wi-Fi, and VPN profiles

  • Deploy links to web applications

  • Provide role-based access to reports

When used in conjunction with the next release of Windows Intune, organizations can benefit from greater depth in device management in several areas, including:

  • Giving people a consistent experience in discovering and installing corporate applications that IT has made available to them, across all of their managed devices

  • Publishing corporate apps and services across device types, regardless of whether they’re corporate-connected or cloud-based

  • Granting more granular control over device settings available to configure Windows, Windows RT, Windows Phone 8, iOS, and Android devices to make them compliant with corporate policies

  • Wiping corporate applications, data, and policies from devices selectively when they are no longer managed by the organization

There will not be a public preview of Windows Intune Wave E (as far as I know). The gold version should be out around the same time as most of the rest of the Blue wave — meaning late summer/early fall (Q3) 2013, if my sources are correct.

Topics: Mobility, Cloud, Data Management, Microsoft, IT Policies, Windows 8, Windows Server

About

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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