Microsoft shifts desktop management to the Cloud

Microsoft has introduced a cloud-based service designed to simplify the remote management of desktop PCs. 

According to MS spokesperson Brandon LeBlanc, Intune is targeted at mid-size companies which lack the resources or budget to setup and maintain an on-premise desktop management infrastructure.

“They’ve been coming to us asking for a solution that will meet their specific needs. They are doing this because it gives them new IT capabilities with lower upfront investment and without the restrictions of traditional on-premise infrastructure,” explained LeBlanc.

“[And Intune simplifies the process via] Windows cloud services and Windows 7 — making it easier for IT staff to manage and secure PCs from virtually anywhere.”

LeBlanc noted that MS was also providing access to Windows 7 Enterprise upgrades as well as advanced on-premise management and virtualization tools (Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack).

Additional key features include:

  • Web-based console management.
  • Update(s) deployment and management.
  • Malware protection.
  • Proactive monitoring of PCs.
  • Remote assistance.
  • Tracking hardware and software inventory.
  • Setting security policies.

Although Intune is slated to be available as a subscription service, Microsoft is currently offering a beta version of the software to 1,000 customers and IT partners in the US, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico.