There are many companies relying on Windows devices to manage their devices. There are different versions of the OS available like, Windows XP, Windows RT, Windows 7, Windows 8, and so on. There are different kinds of devices which use these operating systems and many SMEs use a combination of devices running on these OSs. This creates the need for a central administration system which will help them manage the information flow across these devices smoothly. When the companies were perplexed with this a couple of years ago, Microsoft stepped forward to take care of these needs through their Intune service.
The first version was nothing more than mere patchwork of the various systems on the cloud. However, as it continued to progress, more features were introduced and the service was made better. There have been two upgrades to the 1st version and now Microsoft is about to launch the fourth upgrade. It is said that the fourth upgrade will be launched directly. We will not have any beta version to experiment with, therefore, if we decide to move, we will be directly moving into the new service or else we can also choose to stay with the current Intune service. There are also changes in the subscription charges.
The $11 subscription has been brought down to $6 at the cost of the Software Assurance that we are receiving for the current service. Not to mention that the $6 is the per user cost per month. By paying $6 per user, the company will be able to connect up to five devices and these devices may be powered by any operating system namely, Android, iOS, Windows XP and Windows RT. However, we also have the option of paying $11 and retaining the Software Assurance, to be on the safer side. Those who want to keep the Software Assurance coverage will have to pay more for side loading licenses. Intune 3.0, i.e., the current version, doesn’t support Windows 8, Windows RT and Windows Phone 8. However, the new release will support these operating systems, which will help many businesses.
The businesses that use these operating systems are finding it hard to manage these systems smoothly, but the new version is going to come to their rescue. A close watch on the documents that Microsoft has released on their website tells that the new Windows Intune management system will also support iOS and Android devices. It doesn’t come as a surprise because the business world has been waiting all these days for this integrated support. The administrative console of the new service lets the administrators upload links to the different apps they want to make available for their employees. They can build links to apps in the Windows Store, Apple App Store, Google Play and also Windows Phone Store.
By enabling this feature, Microsoft has given more freedom to businesses so that they can benefit from the apps existing in all the app stores. The companies who choose to install the apps directly on the users’ mobile devices can do so by providing them a software installer. This installer can be used by the administrator to upload apps to the mobile devices through the new Intune service. Microsoft has also revealed the software file types that the new Intune service will support. A portal will be created for each company and the end users can download the portal of their company in order to access the apps they get access to.
System Center Configuration and Windows Intune are well integrated to make app deployment through SCCM administrative console, possible. Microsoft has been hinting on these at various occasions and now the features of the new service confirm these. As you all know, Microsoft will stop supporting Windows XP in 2014. However, the new update will support Windows XP as always and the change might reflect in the next upgrade, which is not going to happen anytime soon. Therefore, Windows XP users have all the time they will need to upgrade their OS to a higher version.
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