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Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Windows Intune Available to Businesses


At the Microsoft Management Summit 2011, Microsoft today announced the availability of the Windows Intune hosted desktop management service, after a yearlong beta program.

Windows Intune is generally available today in 35 countries, bringing PC management through the cloud and upgrades to Windows 7 Enterprise to businesses. Windows Intune delivers cloud-based management and security capabilities through a single, Web-based console.

"Microsoft is focused on providing management solutions to help IT organizations give employees access to what they need, when they need it, from anywhere and on a wider variety of devices," said Brad Anderson, corporate vice president of Management and Security for Microsoft. "A solution like Windows Intune is the perfect example of how customers and partners of all sizes can take advantage of cloud computing for easy-to-use PC management and security."

By leveraging the power of the cloud, Windows Intune helps IT staff relieve the burden of managing and maintaining a complicated PC infrastructure, which translates to more IT efficiency, user productivity, security and cost savings.

Microsoft starts Intune pricing at US$11 per seat per month, and charges $1 per PC more for the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP), a set of on-premise diagnostic tools. The company is also offering a 30-day trial of the service.

System Center Configuration Manager 2012 and MDOP

In his keynote speech, Anderson also announced the beta 2 of System Center Configuration Manager 2012, the next version of Microsoft's endpoint management solution for enterprises, which is available through http://www.microsoft.com/systemcenter/cm2012.

He demonstrated how the new product helps IT managers give employees a more personalized experience using applications on a wider variety of devices. He also showed how the technology helps reduce IT costs and inefficiencies by unifying the security and management of mobile, physical and virtualized applications into one solution.

In addition, Anderson discussed key components of the next version of MDOP, including the beta release of Microsoft BitLocker Administration and Monitoring (MBAM) and Microsoft Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset (DaRT) updates. MBAM builds on BitLocker in Windows 7 Enterprise and helps simplify BitLocker provisioning and deployment, improves compliance and reporting, and reduces support costs through streamlining the key recovery process.

The updated version of DaRT will include the ability to initiate a remote-control session to assist users without the need for a deskside visit and the ability to boot from the network or a USB stick to use the recovery tools. A beta of the next version of DaRT is expected in early April, Microsoft added.


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