Windows Intune, Beta 2 Launches

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Windows Intune beta #2 was just launched at the Worldwide Partner Conference, occurring now in D.C. For those unaware, Intune is a new desktop-management solution for small-to-medium sized businesses (25 to 500 PCs) that provides I.T. admins with anti-malware tools, remote assistance technology, inventory management, monitoring tools, and security policy and patch management. The tasks are performed via a Web-based console that can be accessed from anywhere you have an Internet connection and the client computers can be managed even when they’re not on the corporate network.

Unlike some similar solutions, Intune doesn’t require a software download, server set up and maintenance – it’s a cloud-based subscription service.

In this second beta, Microsoft has added a multi-account console that lets partners (like outsourced I.T. shops) service multiple accounts from one console. The new console shows at-a-glance info about PC status and health, alerts, updates, and more.

Microsoft is also now expanding the beta to more customers – up to 10,000 accounts in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico, France, Germany, Ireland, Spain, UK, and Italy. The focus is still on gathering feedback to ensure a quality final release, notes the Windows team blog.

Pricing for Windows InTune has also been announced: $11/per PC per month.

To sign up for the beta, head over to the Windows Intune page. Windows Intune will be generally available by early 2011 in all the countries included in this second public beta.

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