Microsoft's Device Manager Tool To Be Called 'Microsoft Intune'
Microsoft plans to rename Windows Intune, calling it "Microsoft Intune" with its next major update release.
It's not exactly clear when the name change will take place. Microsoft has suggested in a May blog post that it updates Intune "roughly every quarter." The last update appears to have been rolled out in August, so possibly the name change will take effect late this year or early next year.
Microsoft's announcement of the pending name change today likely surprised no one. The company has been on a product-renaming binge of late, which is consistent with past practices. For instance, Microsoft changed its Windows Azure cloud computing name to Microsoft Azure back in March. Its collection of browser-based Office apps, called Office Web Apps, got renamed to Office Online in February. It renamed its SkyDrive cloud storage service in January, calling it OneDrive. The latter name change was done to avoid litigation with the Sky Broadcasting Group.
The Microsoft Intune name change has some logic to it. Intune is Microsoft's cloud-enabled mobile device management solution, but it doesn't just manage Windows devices.
"The 'Microsoft Intune' name more accurately represents Intune's capabilities, supporting both iOS and Android platforms, in addition to Windows," Microsoft's announcement explained.
These days, Microsoft seems quicker to issue products that support Apple's iOS or the Android mobile operating system over its own Windows OS. For instance, CEO Satya Nadella announced a touch-enhanced Office for the iPad suite in March even though such a touch-optimized Office for Windows hasn't been released yet. It's thought that this touch-optimized Windows version of Office will be available in the spring of 2015, according to an Office roadmap article by veteran Microsoft reporter Mary Jo Foley.
As for Microsoft Intune, it already supports the latest iOS 8 mobile OS that Apple released in September, according to a blog post by Brad Anderson, Microsoft's corporate vice president for enterprise client and mobility. Anderson claimed that Microsoft Intune will "just work" in managing devices using iOS 8. New Microsoft Intune capabilities associated with iOS 8 include S/MIME encryption of e-mails, protection against data leakage with the new Handoff feature and the ability to set device-wipe restrictions. Microsoft's more traditional management product, System Center 2012 R2 Configuration Manager, also now supports iOS 8 via an extension for Microsoft Intune.
Microsoft typically adds improvements to Microsoft Intune on a rolling basis. In August, the company added e-mail profile provisioning using Exchange ActiveSync for iOS and Windows Phone 8/8.1 devices. It also added policy support in Microsoft Intune for using Internet Explorer's Enterprise Mode, which enables IE 11 to emulate IE 8.
Microsoft Intune is one of the solutions featured in Microsoft's Enterprise Mobility Suite for volume licensing customers, which kicked off in May. The Enterprise Mobility Suite also includes the rights to use Azure Active Directory Premium and Azure Rights Management Services.
Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.