As part of the coming wave of Cloud OS v.Next products and services, Microsoft will deliver a new version of its Windows Intune cloud-based PC and device management service. Intune 5, as I call it, will focus on deeper System Center integration, more consistent experiences across different mobile devices, and better data protection.
While details about the next Intune are still a bit hard to come by—Microsoft refers to this release as “wave E” internally, and I’m wondering whether the Intune brand will survive a recent consolidation with System Center—here’s what I know so far.
Company portal. A Metro-y looking web-based portal will help users provision mobile apps from for Windows 8/RT (“Metro”), Windows Phone 8, Apple iOS, and Google Android, as well as web-based and line of business (LOB) applications.
Auto VPN. You may recall that automatic VPN triggering on app launch is one of the new business features in Windows 8.1; this functionality can be defined through the new Intune.
VPN and Wi-Fi profiles. Intune customers can deploy VPN and Wi-Fi profile policies and configurations.
Single pane of glass. Customers that use both System Center Configuration Manager 2012 R2 and Intune can view and manage PCs, mobile devices, servers, and virtual machines—both on-premises and cloud-based—through a single console (in SCCM).
Mobile device management (MDM). The new Intune’s updated MDM functionality supports more policies on all supported device types.
Selective wipe. With the next Intune, you can selectively and remotely wipe corporate data from managed mobile devices. This, too, is one of the new business features in Windows 8.1. The ability includes removing apps and data, management policies, and networking profiles from the device, and users can choose to retire a device from corporate management, which automatically removes any corporate data.
Access to corporate resources. Using the new Work Folders feature, users with supported mobile devices will be able to securely access corporate resources, including file shares on Windows Server 2012 R2-based file servers.
Office 365 cloud connector. In the current version of Intune, you need an on-premises connector to Office 365 hosted Exchange to connect the two services. Before the release of the next verison, Microsoft will release a cloud-based connector to Office 365 hosted Exchange, making life significantly easier. (This could happen as soon as July.)
Is there more? Almost certainly: When I get back from TechEd, I’ll try to spend some time researching the various Intune session videos to see what else I can dig up.
Unfortunately, Microsoft won’t be making a preview version of the new Intune available alongside the other upcoming Cloud OS v.Next products. My expectation is that it will ship sometime in Q3/Q4 2013 alongside those products, however.