With the new release of Windows Intune in December 2012, device management is now easier than ever. Whether your employees use PCs, mobile devices, tablets or a combination of the three, Windows Intune provides a central location to manage these devices. This article outlines a few of the major changes to look out for in the new release:
The new licensing options are structured so that each license represents a managed user and that user is allowed up to five managed devices. For those companies that want to adopt a "bring your own device" work environment, Windows Intune is the perfect solution to implement this approach while maintaining security requirements for all company data. Below is a breakdown of the different licensing options:
Per User Licensing
(on up to 5 devices)
If the customer also wants Windows
Windows Intune w/ Windows SA
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Under all offers customers will be licensed for System Center 2012 ConfigMgr and Endpoint Protection
If the customer owns ConfigMgr and SCEP
Windows Intune Add-On for ConfigMgr & SCEP
Must license ConfigMgr Separately
Must license ConfigMgr Separately
Windows Software Assurance no longer required (For Windows Intune & Windows Intune Add-On)
New Integrated On-Premises Configuration for Unified Management
In the previous versions of Windows Intune, the cloud-based configuration was the only way to utilize Windows Intune. Now with the new release, Microsoft is offering on-premises mobile device management using a new Windows Intune connector within Microsoft System Center 2012 Configuration Manager with SP1. This allows your IT department to manage all of the servers, laptops, desktops and mobile devices within your organization, all from one central location.
iOS and Windows Device Management Enhancements
Windows Intune now provides the Mobile Device Management (MDM) features to Windows RT, Windows Phone 8 and iOS devices; eliminating the need for an Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) connection. Now the users simply must enroll the device to Windows Intune and the management services built in to the device allow the device to be managed without compromising security or installing third-party agents. Once the device is enrolled, Windows Intune applies the mobile device policies set up by your organization and takes inventory information that is then transferred back to the Intune client.
The previous version of Windows Intune required an Exchange ActiveSync (EAS) connection, and although Microsoft recommends the direct management solution, Windows Intune still supports the EAS-based settings. If your organization already has devices connected through EAS and wishes to keep these settings, Microsoft recommends that you use Configuration Manager to apply the EAS settings so that all mobile devices can be managed from one console. If your organization is using the cloud configuration, you can use the Windows Intune Exchange Connector to manage EAS-connected devices. This is also the recommendation for older smartphone platforms and for devices that have not been directly enrolled with the Windows Intune service.
Below is a table that shows which devices require which MDM method:
Windows Phone 8
Windows Phone 7
7.0 or later
iPad, iPad 2, iPhones, iPod Touch
iOS 4.0 or later
Android-based phones and mobile devices
Android 2.1 or later
Extended Support for Windows 8
With the release of Windows 8 and the new version of Windows Intune, your IT department now has the ability to manage the entire Windows 8 device family. The devices are classified as follows:
Windows RT devices
Windows Phone 8 devices
Fully Managed PC Devices*:
*Must install Windows Intune and Endpoint Protection agents on these devices
The addition of these new clients along with the enhanced capabilities of System Center Configuration Manager SP1 empower your IT department with a unified solution that supports one of the most comprehensive lists of clients available today.
This new release of Windows Intune further supports the "bring your own device" approach that many businesses are adopting today. With the added support and enhancements to mobile device management, your IT department can now use one central location to manage your entire organization – from servers to cellphones. And with a unified management solution and user-based licensing options, Windows Intune will save your organization valuable time and money.
If you would like more information on Windows Intune and how it can benefit your organization, please contact Paul Landt at email@example.com.
Resources: What's New in Windows Intune Dec 2012 Release – Official Microsoft Download Center [Download PDF]