Just a few short weeks ago, Microsoft announced that the latest update to the Windows Intune service will be available on October 18th. Existing customers will be upgraded ahead of that date! This post provides our upgrade schedule, along with highlighting some of the new features that will be available once the upgrade is complete.
The upgrade schedule will be spread out over a couple of weeks and will include a downtime of ten hours. You will receive a notification alert in your Administration Console one week prior to the upgrade.
During this downtime, changes made to your subscription (e.g., add more licenses) will not be immediately reflected and you will not be able to log in to the Windows Intune Administration Console. To understand exactly when you’re upgrade/downtime window will occur, you’ll need to know which service instance you reside on. To find out this information, follow these simple steps:
- Log in to the Windows Intune Administration Console (https://admin.manage.microsoft.com)
- Along the left hand side, navigate to the Administration page
- On the right hand side, under Learn About, click on View Service Status
- This will redirect you to the Windows Intune status page
- Once the status page loads, your service instance will be displayed: “This account is in service instance: North America 2-04”
Europe 2-05: (UTC) 9/23/2013 4:30:00 PM – 9/24/2013 2:30:00 AM
Europe 2-03: (UTC) 10/12/2013 4:30:00 PM – 10/13/2013 2:30:00 AM
Europe 2-01: (UTC) 10/14/2013 4:30:00 PM – 10/15/2013 2:30:00 AM
Europe 2-02: (UTC) 10/17/2013 4:30:00 PM – 10/18/2013 2:30:00 AM (Schedule change from 10/15 to 10/17)
North America 2-05: (UTC) 9/25/2013 4:30:00 PM – 9/26/2013 2:30:00 AM
North America 2-01: (UTC) 10/3/2013 4:30:00 PM – 10/4/2013 2:30:00 AM
North America 2-02: (UTC) 10/4/2013 4:30:00 PM – 10/5/2013 2:30:00 AM
North America 2-04: (UTC) 10/6/2013 4:30:00 PM – 10/7/2013 2:30:00 AM
Asia 2-01: (UTC) 9/27/2013 4:30:00 PM – 9/28/2013 2:30:00 AM
Asia 2-02: (UTC) 9/30/2013 4:30:00 PM – 10/1/2013 2:30:00 AM
Asia 2-03: (UTC) 10/2/2013 4:30:00 PM – 10/3/2013 2:30:00 AM
Asia 2-05: (UTC) 10/16/2013 4:30:00 PM – 10/17/2013 2:30:00 AM
What to expect after the upgrade?
Once the upgrade to your service instance is complete and back online, a number of mandatory agent updates will be pushed out to all client machines connected to the service. In most cases, these updates will require a reboot after being applied. Make sure you have reviewed Policy Settings for Mandatory Updates to help minimize the impact these reboots will have on your business.
As with most upgrades, a number of features are being added along with general improvements to the overall service and experience. This is not an exhaustive list but we want to a highlight a few key items based on feedback from our customers:
- Support for Windows 8.1 enrollment
This functionality will allow for 8.1 clients to enroll via the Windows Intune client software (Enrollment Package), as well as the OMA-DM agent.
- Ungrouped Devices Group added back to identify newly enrolled machines
With the January 2013 release of Windows Intune, the ‘Ungrouped Devices’ group was changed and no longer functioned as it had previously. This created a lot of confusion and hardship for our customers as they were no longer able to easily identify newly enrolled machines to the service. We are bringing this group and its functionality back.
- New Agent Policy Settings
Two new agent policy settings. Here’s a brief description of each:
- Windows Intune client agent mandatory updates installation schedule
Currently, client agent updates can’t be controlled as they flow down to all machines shortly after being released through the service. This creates a poor user experience as most agent updates can require reboots. This new policy gives the IT Pro the ability to control when mandatory updates are installed on devices across their environment.
- Install Endpoint Protection
This policy gives finer control to IT Pro’s that wish to use, or not use, the Windows Intune Endpoint Protection client on their devices. Currently, when selecting “No”, Windows Intune Endpoint Protection will still be installed if a 3rd party AV/AM solution is not detected. After it’s installed, Intune Endpoint Protection will be disabled. This new setting prevents Intune Endpoint Protection from installing when the option is set to ”No”.
If you connect your Windows Intune subscription to the release of System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager on October 18th, you will be able to provide unified device management capabilities across your PC's as well as mobile devices, both from the cloud and on-premises, all from the single Configuration Manager console and infrastructure. Be sure to download the evaluation of Configuration Manager preview today!
The Windows Intune Team