Bryan Von Axelson 2010

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With the anticipated release of Windows 8 and Windows RT, how are you going to manage all those devices?  Microsoft announced on Sept. 10th, 2012 upcoming solutions based on System Center Configuration Manager SP1 and Windows Intune.  J.J.. one of my teammates, blogged about using our current release of Windows Intune and managing your devices, take a look at Windows Intune and Mobile Devices, but currently the new Windows 8 is not supported, as well as, the RT devices will not be joining a domain, so what is coming to help you manage Windows 8 and Windows RT devices.

With Windows 8, Windows RT devices, and Windows Phone 8 coming soon, we are excited to give you a preview of the new client management capabilities and vision we’ll be delivering in the coming months:

  • System Center 2012 Configuration Manager Service Pack 1
  • Interoperability of Windows Intune and System Center Configuration Manager Console
  • Management of Windows RT and Windows Phone 8
  • Windows Intune Licensing Changes – For more information check out: Windows Intune Licensing Changes Announced
  • Support for the Management of Windows Embedded devices


System Center 2012 Configuration Manager Service Pack 1 (SP1)
Many organizations are in the process of deploying System Center 2012 Configuration Manager to help embrace consumerization while still maintaining corporate compliance and control. Over the past few months we’ve been detailing our plans for Configuration Manager Service Pack 1, and the beta is available for download on the Microsoft Download Center.

Configuration Manager SP1 enhancements include:

  • Deployment and management of Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012
  • Distribution point for Windows Azure to help reduce infrastructure costs
  • Automation of administrative tasks through PowerShell support
  • Management of Mac OS X clients and Linux and UNIX servers

One of the great new benefits of this platform are Windows 8 apps, and ConfigMgr 2012 SP1 allows you to deploy and update these apps alongside your existing native and virtual applications. SP1 will support the deployment and management of Windows to Go USB drives, as well as enable you to more easily manage policies for new Windows 8 client-side caching, roaming user profiles, and folder redirection features. For mobile workers, ConfigMgr 2012 SP1 Beta will include the new ability to detect 3G and 4G network connections to prevent delivering software at a time when data charges may apply.

Interoperability of Windows Intune and System Center Configuration Manager Console
The proliferation of mobile devices presents unique challenges for organizations of all sizes. These devices run various operating systems. With the concept of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), they’re likely to be owned and controlled by the individual and cannot be “managed” like a typical corporate-controlled PC. They’re also typically not on the corporate network but instead utilize the Internet for connectivity, even to access corporate data. These challenges require flexibility in the way corporate policies are defined, such as determining which policies can and should be applied to which devices, and how those devices should be managed.

Microsoft offers two separate endpoint management solutions – System Center 2012 Configuration Manager for on-premises management, and Windows Intune for management through the cloud. With System Center 2012 Configuration Manager Service Pack 1 and the next version of Windows Intune, Microsoft is taking the first step in delivering interoperability between these products through Configuration Manager’s administration console. This will enable customers to add mobile devices managed through the cloud with Windows Intune into their System Center 2012 Configuration Manager Service Pack 1 console and manage all the devices through one tool.

While you can continue to use Windows Intune as your “fully in the cloud” management solution for PC and mobile device management, the interoperability of our on-premises and cloud services is a big step forward for organizations that want to manage all of their devices from one place.

It should be noted the Windows Intune interoperability is not functional in the beta of the Service Pack for Configuration Manager 2012.

Management of Windows RT devices and Windows Phone 8
If you already have System Center 2012 Configuration Manager, SP1 and the next version of Windows Intune will enable you to extend the reach of your management infrastructure to include mobile devices via the cloud. Windows Phone 8 and Windows RT devices will be managed by the next release of Windows Intune.    You will have the flexibility of using either the Windows Intune or Configuration Manager 2012 SP1 console to set mobile security policies, distribute mobile apps and view reports.  More details coming soon, as we get closer to the next release of Windows Intune.

Support for the Management of Windows Embedded devices
With Service Pack 1, the capabilities of System Center 2012 Configuration Manager will be extended to manage Windows Embedded thin clients, Point-of-Sale (POS) terminals, digital signage, kiosks, and ThinPCs. This functionality means additional devices can be managed by System Center 2012 Configuration Manager SP1 without requiring any additional software. The upcoming
Windows Embedded Standard 8, which will be available within three quarters from Windows 8 General Availability, has been architected for even easier management by System Center 2012 Configuration Manager.

For information about the datacenter and cloud management capabilities of SP1, see the post on this blog