The feature set of this first release of Windows Intune will bring the most value to businesses with basic needs that don’t have an existing management solution in place.
Tracking Hardware and Software Inventory
In order to use the service, you just need an Internet connection and the Windows Intune agent installed on each PC you wish to manage. This Windows Intune agent on each PC communicates back to the Windows Intune administration console so you can efficiently inventory software and hardware assets of your organization through the web-based console. See Figure A.
In just a few simple steps, you can create reports to identify installed software applications and hardware inventory to help maintain compliance, understand current needs, forecast future IT spending, and save on the cost of maintaining extra licenses you don’t need. This data can also be exported into other reporting tools, such as Microsoft Office Excel, for further analysis so you can view the information in the way that’s most helpful for you.
Advanced software inventory scanning can also help you find unapproved applications that may be unlicensed or causing compatibility issues. Data can be gathered on all software assets in a single query—it takes just seconds per system and doesn’t interrupt work.
Figure A: Track software assets on all of your managed PCs to efficiently manage your assets, licenses, and compliance.
Windows Intune can also help you manage your Microsoft license agreements. You simply enter your company’s Microsoft Software Volume License agreement information and Windows Intune will synchronize with the Microsoft Volume License Service (MVLS) to determine the license entitlement that corresponds to the agreements. See Figure B.
After license agreements are entered into Windows Intune, you can compare the purchase information from your agreement to Microsoft software actually discovered on your PCs. You can then create license reports that show installation counts and license counts for Microsoft software titles. You can generate license reports to help you assess your complete license position for Microsoft-licensed software titles. These reports are for your use only; Microsoft cannot access or view your license reports.
Figure B: Add your license agreements by entering agreement number pairs manually.
Pricing and Licensing
Windows Intune will be sold like other cloud services from Microsoft—through Microsoft partners and Microsoft Online Services.
Windows Intune will cost US$11 per PC per month. Windows Intune is a device license and you need to purchase one license for each PC that you wish to manage. A single license includes both the cloud service and Windows upgrade license.
General availability of Windows Intune is scheduled for 2011.