It's Official Now, Microsoft To Manage Windows, iOS And Android Devices
Bangalore: Microsoft yesterday came out with its plans to manage iOS, Android, Windows 8, Windows RT and Windows Phone 8 devices from cloud, reports ZDNet.
Microsoft shared its Coloud OS management plans during 30 minutes Webcast for the press and analysts yesterday. The company is to offer its services through two ways, one via Windows Intune cloud-management service and two, via its System Center 2012 SP1 system-management suit.
Through this plan Microsoft is positioning its systems- and mobile-device management components as part of its Cloud OS that can help manage the company’s offerings like Server and Tools division, including Windows Azure, Windows Server, System Center, SQL Server and Visual Studio.
Microsoft’s latest, the fourth version of its Windows Intune service which was code named Wave D got unveiled quietly in December 2012 and its was only accessible by new users. It added ability to manage Windows 8, Windows RT and Windows Phone 8 devices. The already existing users however have to wait till this February to get the latest version of the service which is hosted on Microsoft's Windows Azure public cloud.
Though Microsoft added iOS and Android device management capabilities to the Windows Intune 3, the new version of the Intune service is less reliant on the Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync protocol for managing most mobile devices, other than Android-based ones.
Microsoft also launched System Center 2012 SP1 in December last year; it adds the ability to manage Windows Server 2012, SQL Server 2012 and Windows 8. The Configuration Manager of the System Center component is what's enabling mobile-device management.
Both these offering from Microsoft can also enable sideloading of corporate apps on Windows and Windows RT mobile devices. Intune provides a Company Portal app out of the box, which is available from the Windows Store. Companies can add the portal with corporate/line-of-business apps it wants its users to install. Admins optionally can use a Windows Intune add-on for Configuration Manager to implement the company portal app for internal distribution.
The other offerings from the Redmond based company in its web cast were Windows Azure Services for Windows Server, a Web-app-performance monitoring service running on Windows Azure and complement to System Center 2012 SP1, which is known as Global Service Monitor. Global Service Monitor is in preview now and will be final in March 2013.
Windows Intune service is available at two price points: A $6 per user per month version that doesn't include Software Assurance and Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) tools, and a $11 per user per month version that adds Software Assurance/MDOP.
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