Microsoft will make its long-awaited Windows Intune cloud-based desktop PC management system commercially available starting March 23, the company said Monday.
Intune will be available in the U.S. and 34 other countries for purchase or a free 30-day trial, said Gavriella Schuster, general manager for Windows product management, in a blog post. The company is expected to formally launch the final version of the product at the Microsoft Management Summit in Las Vegas on March 23.
Some 10,000 businesses have been trying out the Intune second beta since July. Beta testers currently using the second beta will be able to continue using that version until April 18, Shuster said.
The product is widely anticipated to be popular with solution providers, who can use the service to generate a recurring revenue stream. Solution providers can use the service to track customers' desktop PCs and quickly respond to problems, while managed service providers are expected to be interested in Intune's ability to manage customer networks.
"Windows Intune builds on our history of delivering cloud services at scale, including Hotmail and Windows Update, and leverages Microsoft’s cloud experience with Azure, Dynamics CRM Online and Office 365 to give our customers the best Windows experience possible by providing the tools IT professionals need to ensure their employees can be productive and secure from virtually anywhere," Schuster said in her blog.
Microsoft is targeting Intune toward small, midsize and large companies.
Microsoft has said that it plans to charge $11 per PC, per month for the Intune service with subscribers getting the management and anti-malware tools and upgrade rights to Windows 7 Enterprise.
"Windows Intune also includes upgrade rights to Windows 7 Enterprise, so customers can standardize on a single version of Windows, making management of their PC environment easier and more efficient."
Microsoft has launched a Web site that offers partners information about adding Intune to their lineup of products and services.