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Microsoft Windows Intune review

Verdict

An affordable way to not only manage a fleet of desktop PCs and laptops, but also to upgrade them to Windows 7

Review Date: 8 Apr 2011

Reviewed By: Jon Honeyball

Price when reviewed: £7, per seat per month (£9 inc VAT)

Overall Rating
5 stars out of 6

Features & Design
5 stars out of 6

Value for Money
5 stars out of 6

Ease of Use
5 stars out of 6

Managing a collection of desktop and laptop computers can be a nightmare. Although there are strong and fully featured tools to do this task, such as Microsoft’s excellent System Center tools, for many companies these are a daunting prospect. Indeed, the cure can look worse than the disease for those unable to invest time and effort into such matters.

Intune is a new type of product from Microsoft’s management tools division. It’s designed to be easy to install, deploy and run. In other words, it’s aimed at the smaller business which may not have a full set of IT skills on site.

Microsoft Windows Intune

Unlike previous offerings from Microsoft, such as the multi-site rental model for Microsoft Operations Manager, this one is fundamentally different – all the back-end processing for Intune happens within the Microsoft cloud infrastructure. You don’t need any servers running locally to process all the data: everything is passed up the pipe to the datacenter.

First steps

First, you need to create an account with Microsoft. Intune is a subscription service where you pay per month per machine. Want to add another machine? Just add it on to your list and it will appear on the monthly billing.

For each managed computer, you run a small Windows Intune Center application that lets you see whether the PC is up to speed as far as updates are concerned. You can also manually run the Windows Intune Endpoint Protection antivirus/antimalware tool to check that nothing is amiss, and you can schedule a remote support session from the system administrator.

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User comments

Will we part happily?

If I were to subscribe to Windows Intune service, upgrade my machines to Windows 7 and then decide not to continue with the Intune service would my machines be licenced?
I was also wondering how old was the oldest machine you managed?

By tgDerekW on 8 Apr 2011

tgDerekW,
The Intune service has no direct connection to your machine licences - unless you bought the Windows 7 Enterprise and the Intune service as a package - which is the option they are trying to push.
It really only works properly with 7 as otherwise you miss out on quite a number of the facilities.
As an MVP, we've been trying to persuade M/s to provide a simplified version for home users, but no luck yet.

By Ex_Sailor on 8 Apr 2011

the licensing is not inperpetuity. it runs for as long as you have the intune licensing. Microsoft has many licenses like this now

By JonH_ on 11 Apr 2011

does that mean...

as soon as i stop using in-tune, i'll be running licences that FAST will only be happy to send me a huge bill for?

In addition, is there the option to monitor any other A/V other than "the Microsoft antivirus/anti-malware solution" which PC pro hasn't had anywhere near its A list for - well, i can't remember it ever being there.

By khellan on 11 Apr 2011

Windows volume...

I've never understood Windows volume licensing. The other products make sense (more or less), but Windows itself seems barmy.

In order to qualify for a Windows open licence, I have to have a PC that already has Windows 7 installed. If I have Windows 7 installed, why do I need a volume licence? :?

Creating a standard image is easier, but it doesn't make sense, generally.

By big_D on 18 Apr 2011

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