Microsoft on Monday announced that its cloud-based PC management service, Windows Intune, will become available for purchase on March 23 after nearly a year-long beta cycle. The release will be available in more than 35 countries and will come with a 30-day free trial for those interested in testing.
"We're very excited to release the final version of Windows Intune and look forward to hearing how Windows Intune is helping your business simplify PC management and amplify productivity and savings," Microsoft General Manager Gavriella Schuster wrote in a blog post announcement. "We thank the thousands of beta users from around the world for their feedback, suggestions, and ideas. We are excited to introduce the final version of Windows Intune to you. Beta testers currently using the second beta of Windows Intune can continue using the beta until April 18."
Windows Intune is the latest in a long list of Microsoft cloud services that includes long-running entities such as Hotmail and Windows Update, as well as newer offerings such as Office 365 and Windows Azure. It's a comprehensive, hosted solution for managing PCs in environments of all sizes, according to Microsoft, and provides a web-based interface for managing individual PCs, software updates, malware protection, software installations and licenses, (non-AD-based) policies, and more.
Windows Intune will cost $11 per computer per month. But those who subscribe to the Intune service are also provided with licenses for Windows 7 Enterprise, allowing organizations to standardize on a single, high-end version of Windows. And customers can add the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) for $1 more per PC.
Windows Intune will become available in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Costa Rica, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Romania, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Trinidad & Tobago, United Kingdom, and the United States on March 23. And it will be localized into the Chinese (traditional), Chinese (simplified), English (default), French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese (Brazilian), Russian, and Spanish languages.
Microsoft will formally launch Windows Intune at the Microsoft Management Summit in Las Vegas on March 23. Readers interested in being notified about future Intune releases can also register with Microsoft for Windows Intune notifications.