Next month, Microsoft will release PC management software anchored in the cloud.
Microsoft describes Intune as a way to "integrate and deliver similarly rich functionality as on-premises products" like System Center Configuration Manager, Forefront Endpoint Protection, and the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP).
What you're going to get is a web-based admin console, desktop monitoring and configuration, and the ability to manage updates and provide remote assistance.
It uses Microsoft's Malware Protection Engine to set security policies.
Microsoft describes Intune as suited for all PCs, but Microsoft is edging you towards the Enterprise Edition of Windows 7 and follow on versions of the desktop operating system.
Intune will come with upgrade rights to Windows 7 Enterprise, which is normally only available to customers on the company's Software Assurance enterprise license program. You'll also get the right to upgrade to future versions of Windows – or downgrade.
According to Microsoft, standardizing on a single version of Windows makes it easier to manage your IT infrastructure and will also help reduce the cost of management.
Microsoft is reportly planning to charging $11 per seat per month for the service. For an additional $1, you'll get the on-premises MDOP. ®