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Microsoft To End Classic Intune Portal Alongside Windows 7

Microsoft's "classic" Intune device management portal will die with Windows 7 in 2020, Microsoft said last week.

Windows 7 will fall out of support on Jan. 14, 2020, which means that it will no longer get security updates and will be considered to be an "unsupported" product. Also at that time, the classic Intune portal apparently won't be capable of managing Windows 7 client devices. Microsoft's notice didn't really explain if classic Intune management would fail at that point, but it suggested as much.

Currently, Microsoft has two Intune products, typically described as classic and Azure-based.

The classic Intune version, which is the product that's subject to deprecation by Microsoft, uses an agent (called the "Intune Software Client for Windows 7") for managing client devices and it depends on the use of Microsoft Silverlight technology in the management portal. Only the classic Intune product can be used to manage Windows 7 devices.

The other Intune management service is the flagship product, which, in contrast to the classic version, uses mobile device management technologies. The flagship Intune product is based on Microsoft Azure services rather than Silverlight, and it doesn't use agents for client device management. This mainline product supports Windows 10 and Windows 8.1 clients, but it doesn't support Windows 7 at all, according to Microsoft's documentation.  

Microsoft's notice regarding the end of support for the classic Intune portal's ability to manage Windows 7 devices was sent via the Office Message Center, but the notice just went to organizations that are still using the classic Intune portal. It urged them to move from Windows 7 to Windows 10, and it suggested they should switch to using the Azure-based Intune portal instead of using the classic one.

Intune is a service operated from Microsoft's datacenters. As such, it likely falls under Microsoft's Modern Lifecycle Policy support model (this information, though, is hard to find). Under the Modern Lifecycle Policy, Microsoft only has to give organizations a one-year advance notice before ending product support.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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