Virtual desktops are
ready for prime time
REVIEW: The new Microsoft Windows InTune subscription service keeps user
via the cloud
desktops and laptops up-to-date and secure via a cloud-based service.
By Cameron Sturdevant
The Microsoft Windows InTune service is a com- pelling PC management offering for modest-size
organizations that want endpoint
protection, configuration management and operating system
upgrades without the server
infrastructure usually associated with these capabilities.
Microsoft doesn' t recommend Windows InTune
for shops that are already
heavy users of Microsoft' s
Group Policy for PC management. Also, the hosted
service is intended only for
PC desktops and laptops,
not server systems.
When Group Policy is
used in conjunction with
Windows In Tune service,
Group Policy prevails, thus
eliminating most of the
Windows In Tune benefits. In a case
where a PC is managed both by
Group Policy and Windows In Tune,
Group Policy takes precedence over
the Windows In Tune agent settings.
While the Windows In Tune system
is a new cloud subscription offering,
Microsoft has a host of premises-based
tools for PC management, including
Forefront Endpoint Protection Suite,
System Center Configuration Man-
ager and System Center Essentials.
For the most part, organizations that
are already using one of these toolsÐ
or one of their many com-
petitorsÐ likely won' t ben-
efit from adding Windows
In Tune into the mix.
became generally available from Microsoft on
March 23 and costs $11
a month per user. Never
missing a chance to move
users to the Windows 7
operating system, Microsoft lets organizations
that are using professional or enterprise-class
licenses of Windows XP
upgrade to Windows 7
as part of the Windows
Windows In Tune provides an overview of PCs including updates
and alerts that apply to each system.