It’s been 7 months since the first commercial release of Windows Intune was made available and awhile back I did a very detailed blog post on what’s in it and how it works. Now; 7 months later we have released the next version of Windows Intune and it’s available today! Now you might be wondering what’s in the October Update. Well I’m glad your interested! Let’s have a look.
What’s new in the October release?
- Software Distribution – Centrally deploy most software to managed PCs from the Windows Intune administration console. This was one of the most requested features by customers using Windows Intune so it’s good to see it in this release. Software distribution in Windows Intune uses the cloud to simplify this task. You can deploy .EXE, .MSI or .MSP files to client machines you’re managing. I’ll show you some screenshots of this one in a moment.
- Remote Tasks - Right-click the name of a computer to perform actions—run a malware scan, update malware definitions, or force a restart.
- Extended License Management - In addition to many Microsoft® volume licenses, manage most of your Microsoft retail licenses, Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) licenses for Microsoft software, and most third-party software licenses. *Enhanced Reporting and Filters Create detailed reports on your hardware inventory with new filters, including Manufacturer, Chassis type, Available disk space, Memory installed, and CPU speed.
- Read-only Administrator Access - When adding service administrators to your Windows Intune account, you can select whether to grant full administrator rights or read-only access to information.
- Enhanced Reporting – Hardware filters have now been added so you can get more in-depth reporting on the hardware in your inventory.
- Customized Alerts – You now have the ability to customize alert thresholds to your preference. We now allow you to change the defaults for reports to values that make sense to your environment.
- Offline Installation – The Windows Intune client software can now be pre-installed on machines even if they are offline.
- General Administration and Usability Improvements – Using Silverlight the experience of the Admin console is much richer. You can now right click in the console and be presented with a context sensitive menu allowing additional actions. We have new colour coding and alert groups to make it easier at a glance to identify any issues. Drag and Drop has now been added making it easier than ever to move computers from one group to another.
So not a bad list of improvements. Let’s have a a look at Software Distribution in a bit more detail.
The first screen below gives you an overview of Software in your environment. You can see by this screenshot I’m using the complimentary 2GB of Windows Azure cloud storage which is available for trial subscriptions. Once you sign up you can purchase more storage as needed.
So the next screenshot I have below is of the Managed Software workspace where you get a list of all the applications you’ve uploaded and whether they have been deployed or not. You can see I have 1 piece of software that I’ve uploaded.
- From the Managed Software workspace I clicked on Upload and this begins the Windows Intune Software Publisher.
- After clicking run this it downloads the software from Manage.microsoft.com.
- After this I have to authenticate again in order to begin the process.
The Upload Process
Step 5: Specify rules to detect if the software is already installed. You can use the default rule but we highly recommend you use a customer rule such as registry key exists, file exists or the MSI file is present on the system.
Now my software package is ready to be deployed and it’s a simple case of choosing the package I want to deploy and specifying deployment settings and I’m good to go.
Where can you find out more?
If you are already a subscriber to Windows Intune then you don’t need to do anything. Your account will get updated in the coming weeks. If you haven’t tried Windows Intune the make sure you sign up for the 30-day trial for up to 25 PCs. Plus check out this content for more.
- What’s New in Windows Intune
- New Features in Windows Intune Video
- Deploying Software and Third Party Updates
- Software Deployment Video
And finally of you want to stay up to date and informed then sign up for the Windows Intune Newsletter.