Yet another cool announcement from MMS 2011 – Windows Intune is now RTM and available for a free 30 day trial or purchase. It’s a very interesting service that provides a one stop shop for keeping your PCs running at their best, no matter where they are – WITHOUT a local server infrastructure. I said it – No Servers Required – just a license on a per PC/Per Month basis. That’s a now a predictable Operational Expense, not a up front Capital Expense for those business types. Yup – it’s a cloud based service that you can license and use on domain joined, workgroup systems, remote / mobile workers who never “call home” to the office – it covers all the bases.

Lets face it – your users depend on you to keep their PCs up and running – it doesn’t matter where they are or where you are located. A single web based console gives you control of all your licensed systems and a great “all up” view. Are you a consultant/independent/solution provider that manages multiple clients and businesses? This is for you as well!

Windows Intune

I’ve taken the betas of Windows Intune on the road for TechDays last year and have been using it to keep a test bed of disconnected systems healthy, malware free and inventoried over the last few months. What can you do with it?

  • Centrally manage the deployment of Microsoft updates and service packs that you choose to all your PCs from the
    Windows Intune console.
  • Help safeguard your PCs from the latest threats with centralized endpoint protection built on the award-winning
    Microsoft Malware Protection Engine and using the same trusted technologies as Microsoft Forefront® Endpoint
    Protection and Microsoft Security Essentials.
  • Receive alerts on updates and threats so that you can proactively identify and resolve problems with your PCs—
    before they impact users and your business.
  • Get proactive performance information about your systems to keep them in tip-top shape
  • Resolve PC issues, regardless of where you or your users are located, with remote assistance.
  • Track hardware and software assets used in your business to efficiently manage your assets, licenses, and
    compliance.
  • Centrally manage update, firewall, and malware protection settings across all of your PCs, even on remote machines
    outside the corporate network.
  • Oh – it will also work with Windows XP clients, provided they are SP2 (SP3 recommended),

Windows Intune is targeted at small and medium sized businesses and has a Canadian cost of $14 per PC per month. This INCLUDES non perpetual upgrade rights to Windows 7 Enterprise for qualifying operating systems (Windows XP Pro, Vista Business/Ultimate/Enterprise or Windows 7 Pro/Ultimate).

Yes – I just said IT INCLUDES upgrade rights!!!

By standardizing on Windows 7 Enterprise you are getting the ability to use Bitlocker and DirectAccess among other things.

One last bonus previously only available to people with Software Assurance on their Volume License Agreements – you can get MDOP (Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack – App-V, Med-V, Advanced GroupPolicy Management, Diagnostics and recovery toolset, Bitlocker admin and Asset inventory services) for an additional $1.20 per pc per month.

What are you waiting for? Sign up for the 30 day trial.

Tell me what you think! I’d love to share a story or two here on the blog about CANADIAN companies who are trying this out!

Rick
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