Originally it was US only…
…but it’s now available IN CANADA.
In case you don’t already know – I’m a fan of Windows Intune. One advantage of Cloud Services and Software As A Service is the speed at which new updates can come around and be available for deployment to YOUR clients – on YOUR schedule. No longer do you have to do massive changes to your back end servers to make new functionality available to your clients… The provider (in this case Us – Microsoft) does the heavy lifting for you – and gives you choice on when you adopt the new services.
Case in point – the next revision of Windows Intune is now available in BETA form for testing in your environment. You can go to the Windows Intune Springboard site to get more specific details on the signup process – and the gotch’yas. (Main one – it’s a BETA – so software can’t co-exist with production installs of Windows Intune V1).
From the blog post – here are the highlights on the improvements with this Beta release.
- Package applications, upload them to the cloud for distribution, and deploy them to your Windows Intune-managed PCs. For the beta we have provided 2 gigs of storage for this purpose. Packages can be normal applications in the form of MSIs or EXEs or third party updates. Deploying packages leverages BITS to ensure data transfer is efficient.
Better Hardware Reporting and Filters
- We do a great job of collecting hardware data, but we want to ensure we also present this information in a way that is most useful to you. To assist with this, we have introduced the hardware dashboard along with reports, which will help you view and export your hardware more easily.
Third Party License Management
- Upload and track your 3rd party and Microsoft retail or OEM license agreements – in addition to Microsoft Volume License Agreements – all in one place.
User Interface Enhancements
- Many new enhancements have been made to the user experience. In general, we made numerous changes to improve navigability. We are also introducing the ability to right-click, which will display a list of context-sensitive actions you can perform. We have also added a new administrator role, so you can now have ‘read-only’ administrators.
- Execute a number of tasks on remote unattended PCs. You can invoke malware definitions to install, you can initiate a malware scan to run immediately, and you can remotely reboot a PC.
Improvements to Alerts Workspace
- We’ve introduced the ability to configure thresholds on alerts so you can filter out less important events, and focus on the ones that matter to you. We also improved the way you set up recipients for these alerts.
Support for images
- The Windows Intune client is ‘image-friendly’ and can be set up prior to image deployment. Previously, the Windows Intune client required an internet connection before it could install.
- What’s new in the Windows Intune V2 Beta
- Windows Intune 2011 Beta 2 Overview Video
- Windows Intune July 2011 beta FAQ
- Best Practices for deploying software with Windows Intune
Go check it out! Great options for your small business customers and even friends and family members.