But Windows Intune falls flat in one key area: its remote administration functionality. You can send out a request to perform remote assistance, and the user can accept the request, which is a wonderful development. However, most admins need to perform certain tasks outside of business hours and must connect to a system without the user's acceptance. Because Intune can't do that, you have to buy additional tools or disrupt users during their workday.
What's coming in Intune version 3.0
I hope someone at Microsoft takes the hint and resolves the remote connectivity issue in the forthcoming Intune 3.0.
In version 3.0, Microsoft has already said it will help Intune connect with other servers and manage additional systems. For example, Microsoft plans to let Intune connect with an on-premises System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) deployment, as well as with Forefront Endpoint Protection and the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP). Already, for $1 more per user per month, Intune 2.0 lets administrators use the tools in MDOP, including virtualization capabilities like MED-V and APP-V. Microsoft also plans to integrate Intune with Office 365 and some mobile devices.
I've liked Intune right from the beginning. The pricing is sound, and the features, which continue to improve, are exactly what's needed for a small business -- except for that remote desktop connection hassle. I hope Intunes 3.0 works out that kink.
This article, "Windows Intune 3: The chance to get it completely right," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more of J. Peter Bruzzese's Enterprise Windows blog and follow the latest developments in Windows at InfoWorld.com. For the latest business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.