Yesterday at Microsoft Management Summit 2012 Brad Anderson, Corporate VP of Management and Security, announced the availability of a new Windows Intune public beta that manages iOS and Android apps.
Anderson started out the keynote by actually acknowledging some of the realities of consumerization: that most organizations aren’t aware of many of the persona devices being used in the enterprise, and that users aren’t comfortable with their devices being managed. From their point of view, the answer to BYOD is device management through Exchange ActiveSync (EAS). The approach for managing applications is through the Intune Company Portal.
Managing mobile devices through Exchange is nothing new. I won’t go into EAS versus full-on MDM right now, but the basics are that EAS can enforce password and encryption requirements and can remote wipe devices. For companies that want complete management of iOS and Android devices, Microsoft won’t be any help.
The Intune Company Portal is essentially a corporate app store. For Metro and Windows Phone devices, users are presented with a tiled, Metro-style experience. For Android and iOS, the Company Portal is a web app, but one that didn’t look to be very well-optimized for phone-sized screens. The screen sharing for the iPhone in the demo wasn’t working after two attempts, so at the end of the keynote they brought a video camera up on stage and pointed it at the iPhone. The audience seemed to enjoy seeing Microsoft deliver a native app to an iPhone.
iOS and Android app packages can be uploaded to the Intune backend, and control is provided through Active Directory. Users have to login to the Company Portal, and their devices have to be synched with EAS in order to be able to install mobile apps.
Those are all the details for right now, because according to Microsoft they didn't have anybody available that could give a briefing on the mobile application management features, which was a little weird since it's MMS, after all. From the looks of it, though, mobile app management with Intune seems very basic. It checks another box for organizations that are already using Intune to manage PCs, but otherwise it probably won't compete very much with established MDM and MAM vendors. A free trial is available at prerelease.windowsintune.com. Also, check out this article from Colin and James over at SearchConsumerization.com for another take on Intune.
For non-mobile devices, the keynote included demos of App-V 5 and VDI-related products, including user environment virtualization and rapid deployment of desktop VMs. An interesting moment, though, was when Brad Anderson acknowledged some frustration with VDI in the industry.
It was a great week at MMS overall. Read Gabe's response to the Day 1 keynote at BrianMadden.com, and check out the videos listed below for some of the other products and vendors I had a chance to see.