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Windows Intune closes in on MMS 2011

It sounds like Windows Intune is just about ready for prime time.

Microsoft’s new technology which it describes as “an end-to-end Microsoft solution that brings together Windows cloud services for PC management and endpoint protection” is set for commercial availability on March 23 – right smack dab in the middle of Microsoft Management Summit (MMS) 2011. A website dedicated to Intune is now up where folks can learn more about it before MMS and presumably test and purchase it once it ships.

Windows Intune started making news in the first half of 2010 when Microsoft released the first beta for 30 days back in April. The company talked more about the technology at last year’s TechEd conference, after which writer Gary Olsen compared it to a “simplified version of Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager … sold as an online service.” (You can check out Gary’s full take on Intune – complete with screenshots – here.)

The product basically allows organizations to protect Windows desktops via a cloud-based service with capabilities like centralized patch management, malware protection and remote assistance. Intune supports XP Service Pack 2 and up, though naturally Microsoft is pushing it as ideal for upgrades to Windows 7 Enterprise edition. The talked-about pricing for Intune was said to be $11 per user per month, a number that technical writer David Strom wrote back in October would be good value if Microsoft “keeps to the intended price point” (which apparently it has).

I found this video below that demos the Intune interface and how it works (though keep in mind it’s about 8 months old). It sounds like folks not at MMS can get an up-to-date look at Intune later this month, however, as Microsoft has scheduled an online technical overview with Windows guru Mark Russinovich on March 31.

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For more of the latest news on Windows Intune, visit

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