Intune is primarily aimed at small and medium enterprises and service providers who want to manage up to 500 Microsoft Windows computers. Distribution is through a subscription system in which a fixed monthly cost is incurred per PC. The minimum subscription duration is one year. Included in the package is the Windows operating system, currently Windows 8 Enterprise. Microsoft offers this as an incentive to switch from Windows XP, whose support will be discontinued in April 2014. The sale takes place through Microsoft directly or through authorized distributors.
Free beta versions for the administration of up to 10 (USA) or 25 (Germany) PCs can be ordered for a trial period of 30 days. The company offered 60 case studies of firms that use the software.
Intune currently supports Windows XP Professional with Service Pack 3, Windows Vista or Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise or Ultimate editions, and Windows 8 Professional or Windows 8 Enterprise. Administration is done via a web browser. The administration console based on Microsoft Silverlight v3.0 allows Intune to invoke remote tasks such as malware scans. A Silverlight 3.0-compatible web browser is required. In addition, the administrator must have a Windows Live ID. Since version 2.0, installation of software packages in
.msp format are supported. Installations are encrypted and compressed on Windows Azure Storage. Software installation can begin upon login. It can record and administrate volume, retail and OEM licenses, and licenses which are administered by third parties. Upgrades to newer versions of the Intune software are also controlled.
Information about inventory is recorded automatically. Managed computers can be grouped together when problems occur. Intune notifies support staff as well as notifying an external dealer via e-mail.
Beta version 2.0 which requires an additional 2 GB of memory.
The Standard praised the application, saying "the cloud service Intune promises to be a simple PC Management tool via Web console. The interface provides a quick overview of the system of state enterprise." German PC World positively evaluated "usability" saying that it: "kept the interface simple." Business Computing World criticized the program, saying "Although Windows Intune worked well in our tests and did everything expected of it, we didn’t find it all that easy to get to grips with", blaming the unintuitive "deceptively simple" management interface. ITespresso rated it "good", adding some criticisms.[which?]
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