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Monday, April 19, 2010
Microsoft Takes Desktop Management to the Cloud With Windows Intune

Microsoft is advancing its cloud strategy with a new online offering for PC management and security called Windows Intune.

Windows Intune simplifies how businesses manage and secure PCs using Windows cloud services and Windows 7?making it easier for IT staff to manage and secure PCs from virtually anywhere. In addition to the core cloud service in this offering, Microsoft is also providing access to Windows 7 Enterprise upgrades as well as advanced on-premise management and virtualization tools (Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack).

Microsoft has already made the public beta of Windows Intune available to 1,000 customers and IT partners in the US, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico today.

Click for large screenshot!

"With Windows Intune, we want to enable businesses to do more of their PC management from the cloud so that they can manage their PCs wherever they are without requiring a huge investment in infrastructure," Microsoft said.

Here?s a quick overview of what IT consultants can do with the cloud service component of Windows Intune:

- Manage PCs through web-based console: Windows Intune provides a web-based console for IT to administrate their PCs. Administrators can manage PCs from anywhere. - Manage updates: Administrators can centrally manage the deployment of Microsoft updates and service packs to all PCs.

- Protection from malware: Windows Intune helps protect PCs from the latest threats with malware protection built on the Microsoft Malware Protection Engine that you can manage through the Web-based console.

- Proactively monitor PCs: Receive alerts on updates and threats so that you can proactively identify and resolve problems with your PCs?before it impacts end users and your business.

- Provide remote assistance: Resolve PC issues, regardless of where you or your users are located, with remote assistance.

- Track hardware and software inventory: Track hardware and software assets used in your business to efficiently manage your assets, licenses, and compliance.

- Set security policies: Centrally manage update, firewall, and malware protection policies, even on remote machines outside the corporate network.

Besides the Windows cloud service component, Windows Intune also includes Windows 7 Enterprise upgrade rights to standardize your PC?s on a single version of Windows to create a more manageable PC environment.

Windows Intune is a subscription service like the Business Productivity Online Suite and Microsoft's customers will be able to eventually purchase from as they purchase other online services from Microsoft.

Interested users are able to sign up for the beta today.

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