An independent IT planning information service based on analysis
of Microsoft technologies, roadmaps
and licensing policies.
An all-in-one-place software version product roadmap resource that summarizes the current and future versions of 100+ Microsoft enterprise and developer technologies. Our product roadmaps will give you the forward looking information you need to efficiently plan projects, schedule migrations and budget purchases.
|Intune to Manage Windows Phone 8, Windows RT|
|Monday, 01 October 2012|
The next releases of Windows Intune, Microsoft's online subscription service for managing PCs, and System Center 2012, Microsoft's enterprise solution for computer management, will manage Windows Phone 8 and Windows RT devices. Microsoft will also change the Intune licensing model to include per-user licensing, with rights to use Intune for up to five devices per user. The Sept. 2012 announcement could reassure organizations worried about securing and supporting devices running Microsoft's new OSs for mobile devices. However, Microsoft's solution requires an organization to run Exchange Server, and exact management capabilities could vary considerably across devices.
Windows RT Devices Managed Like Phones
Windows RT devices could enter organizations as replacements for laptops, and both Windows RT and Windows Phone 8 could arrive as employees bring their own devices to work. Although these OSs are called "Windows," devices running them cannot join a Windows domain or be controlled by Windows Group Policy, and they will not run System Center management agents, so managing those devices must be different than managing traditional Windows PCs.
Full details were not given in the announcement, but it is clear that these devices will be managed using the Exchange ActiveSync protocol, which synchronizes mail and other Exchange data with mobile devices and enables central management of devices. Intune and System Center already can use ActiveSync to manage Windows Phone 7; iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch; and Android devices. ActiveSync enables what Microsoft calls "light" management, which includes automated device discovery and the ability to set and deploy device policies (such as requiring passcodes), install line-of-business applications on some devices, and remotely wipe devices if they are lost or stolen. However, device types support ActiveSync to differing degrees, so what can actually be managed is device dependent.
To use ActiveSync, an organization must have an Exchange installation. To work with Microsoft's planned Intune and System Center mobile device management solution, the installation will have to be on-premises. In particular, Microsoft's planned solution will not work with the Microsoft-hosted Exchange Online service, at least initially.
Microsoft also announced that it will change the licensing model for Intune. The next release can be licensed per-user rather than just per-device. The model gives each user rights to use Intune for managing up to five devices. In addition, some coordination between Intune and System Center 2012 SP1 Configuration Manager will provide for managing all servers, PCs, and mobile devices through a single console.
The updates to Intune and System Center are expected to be available in the fourth quarter of 2012, likely at about the time that Windows RT devices appear on the market.
Mobile device management options using Microsoft products, including light management, is discussed in "Mobile and Device Management Changes" on page 11 of the June 2011 Update.