Want to test out and use new bits for Microsoft’s new hosted management service? A good friend to the Group Policy team is the System Center Online team, who announced the first version of their product at MMS 2009.

They are looking for qualified customers to be part of their fall beta, check out the full details here:

http://blogs.technet.com/systemcenteronline/archive/2009/09/23/system-center-online-desktop-manager-beta-is-coming-soon.aspx

If you are an IT pro who manages an IT environment, look into this! They’ve been working with members of the Group Policy team to create a cool hosted management experience. The beta includes the following:

  • Updates Management:  Manage the Microsoft updates from a web-based console.  Review available updates, choose updates and deploy to selected computers or groups of computers.  Imagine WSUS from the cloud.
  • Policy Settings: Provides the ability to configure operational settings of the Windows Update and Anti-Malware agents installed on the client computers. 
  • Anti-malware : Review anti-malware, anti-virus status and remedial actions from the SCODM console.  Ensure managed computers have up-to-date signatures.
  • Assets Inventory: Collect detailed hardware and software inventory on managed computers. View this information in reports.  Use the License reconciliation feature to load your Microsoft volume license agreement information and compare installed application quantities with licensed quantities.
  • Alerts : Helps you quickly and easily find problems (or potential) on your computers. You can also get help on how to solve the problem or how to start troubleshooting.

If you are chosen, here’s what they expect from you:

  • Active involvement in discussion groups, good feedback and bug reporting
  • Ability to deploy to a number of test PCs (preferably 5 or more)
  • Test on a variety of browsers, Windows operating systems, and PC architectures.
  • Ability to run through all the documented core scenarios and provide feedback

I’m going to test out some of this stuff tomorrow, you can too!

LiliaG, Group Policy PM