It was great to see Windows Intune featured in this week’s TechEd keynote, and plenty of additional details have started to emerge, some of which I will cover in this post. I won’t be covered items related to the System Center Configuration Manager integration as that’s not my area of focus, instead I’ll focus on the cloud based PC management and Mobile Device Management capabilities.
Cloud Only Option
What does Windows Intune offer when working as a standalone service? It’s expanded beyond its SMB roots, with Microsoft’s guidelines suggesting up to 7,000 users and 4,000 devices per tenant. This means that if you are taking advantage of the 5 devices per user that is allowed, then you need to start thinking about the impact of this at the 800 user point (800*5=4000 devices). Most users don’t have 5 devices that they will join to the service, so most organisations will scale much higher. If you think you will bump into any of these limits and don’t plan on deploying SCCM, I’m sure that MS would work with you to make sure things proceed smoothly.
As per previous versions, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8 business variants are supported on PC side, with Windows RT, Windows Phone 8, iOS and Android supported on more traditional mobile platforms. It incorporates the post Wave D update that allowed Exchange Online rather than requiring an on-premise Exchange 2010 or higher server.
Windows 8 Support
Not surprisingly, Windows 8 continues to receive focus. Wave D introduced the Windows 8 Store app with access to the company portal rather than relying on the web browser portal. Further work has been done to ensure that the Windows Intune agents respect the client settings to minimise interruption to work through restarts and resource intensive maintenance tasks.
Remote Wipe Improvements
While Windows Intune has had something of a brute force approach to remote wipe in previous versions, but there have been some improvements with Android, Windows 8 and Windows RT devices managed through EAS – you can now just remove the mailboxes. For non EAS devices, Windows Phone 8 and iOS, a full wipe is the only option at this stage.
As more details of the next wave of Windows Intune are released I’ll get them posted, but this should help whet your appetite for now.