The beta edition of Windows Intune was announced in 2010/4/19. In usual, system administrators are managing enterprise computers via group policy and other security server – such as WSUS. And employees only can update latest policy when they connect to intranet network.
But currently, companies have more and more mobile users at their branch office or partner office. So how to keep computer to compliance enterprise security policy is a important issue. Windows Intune is a similar solution for security management. But the different is, the server is in the “Cloud”, not in the company’s server room.
Manage console of Windows Intune( Source: Windows Intune Overview )
Basically, Intune can:
1. Manage the hotfix or service pack for Windows platform. Just like WSUS in enterprise network.
2. Deploy and manage antivirus software and virus definition.
3. Centralized security policy, such as enable or disable firewall.
4. Help desktop from remote IT, I guess this may similar with Remote Desktop Service.
5. The inventory management for software and hardware.
6. Platform supported: Windows 7 Enterprise/Ultimate/Professional，Windows Vista Enterprise/Ultimate/ Business，Windows XP Professional with SP2/SP3
Currently this service only provide via Microsoft online service. I’m still curious about the authentication about administration permission when patch deployed, or other similar issues. However I believe that one day the answer will be find out when production version is announced.
More information: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windowsintune/default.aspx