Over the past several months, we’ve been sharing our vision of People-centric IT, a redefinition of how IT can enable people to choose the devices they wish to use for work, while at the same time also providing access to applications and protecting data.  The goal of People-centric IT is to achieve a balance between keeping people productive with the IT requirements around reducing costs and complexity and keeping compliant with organizational or legal responsibilities.

Today, we’re releasing System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager and Windows Server 2012 R2.  These products, along with the updates to Windows Intune we released last month, can help you to:

  • Enable users by allowing them to work on the device(s) of their choice and providing consistent access to corporate resources from those devices.  A key capability within Configuration Manager and Windows Intune is the ability to deliver the applications your users expect across their devices, regardless of platform.   With the native Company Portal apps, your users will have consistent access to those applications.   In addition, Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) in Windows Server 2012 R2 enables user to access corporate desktops and applications on a variety of devices virtually from anywhere. 
  • Unify your environment by letting IT extend its System Center Configuration Manager infrastructure with Windows Intune to support cloud management of mobile devices, and leverage hybrid identity to provide users with a single identity across on-premises and in the cloud.
  • Protect your data by restricting access to corporate resources based on user, device, and location.  This includes the ability to selectively wipe corporate data from a mobile device, as well as automatically apply rights management to documents based on content or other conditions, making sure the document is protected, even when stored somewhere outside your control.

We’re very proud of the releases of Windows 8.1 and Window 8.1 RT, and the enhancements they bring.   System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager and Windows Intune fully support these new versions of Windows, and Windows Server 2012 R2 helps enable greater mobility and access through features including Workplace Join and Work Folders.

With Windows Server 2012 R2 Remote Desktop Services we continue to improve the management and deployment, solutions economics, and end-user experience for virtual desktop and server based computing experiences.  In particular, new storage capabilities like tiered storage spaces and online VHD de-dupe dramatically reshape the economics of delivering a remote desktop services solutions.  And now these new apps extend a rich Windows experience to a new range of devices.

As you may have already heard, we are also releasing Microsoft Remote Desktop apps for iOS, OS X and Android, giving people the ability to have the same rich Windows experience on a variety of devices.  Just like our modern apps for Windows 8.1 and Windows 8.1 RT, these apps provide easy access to virtual machine based desktops, session based desktops and RemoteApp programs, as well as the ability to remote to a user’s own PC through the RD Gateway.  You can see the RemoteApp for iOS in this demo.

iOS and OS X users can install the Remote Desktop app from the App Store and Mac App Store, respectively, and Android users can install the Remote Desktop app from Google Play

With Configuration Manager and Windows Intune, organizations can manage the variety of devices their employees use – whether they are PCs, phones, or tablets, connected via the cloud or on-premises – through a single administrative console and infrastructure.  To enable people to have a consistent access to applications across their devices, the Company Portal apps are available for days for Windows 8.0/8.1, Windows RT, Windows Phone 8, and you can find them here: 

Name

Platform

URL

Installation Method

Windows Intune Company Portal

Windows 8.x (x86/x64 and RT)

Windows Store
http://apps.microsoft.com/windows/en-us/app/company-portal/4b1dff1a-e76f-4fdd-a993-9c59048c3768

Microsoft Download Center
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=08a4f9d8-9c4d-4667-8bb2-fe8bbcbe694a

Direct User Installation

  

IT Deployment

System Center Configuration Manager Company Portal

Windows 8.x

(x86/x64 only)

Microsoft Download Center Only
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=da9f6820-d399-4847-b3d7-aacf5cbf75c7

IT Deployment

Windows Intune Company Portal for Windows Phone 8

Windows Phone 8

Microsoft Download Center Only
http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=36060

IT Deployment

We expect to release the Company Portal for iOS to the App Store early next week, and a “preview” of the Android Company Portal  will be available from Google Play later this month.  We hope to deliver the final release in December.  We’ll update you when these are published.

What to do next?

If you haven’t begun evaluating how Configuration Manager, Windows Intune, and Windows Server 2012 R2 can help your organization empower consumerization, it’s a great time to start.  

Let us know what you think – stay engaged in the communities, and share your success stories.  We look forward to hearing from you!