Microsoft Windows Intune review

£9
Price when reviewed

The agent running on each target desktop machine collects a complete inventory of the hardware, OS and installed applications, and this is stored in the cloud. The level of detail collected is impressive – application versions, a complete list of hardware (such as BIOS version, processor, graphics card, RAM) and what printers are installed.

Administration

Administration is done completely through a web browser, all via Windows Live IDs. Admin can be run by one person, or split among a group of users. Notifications can also be routed appropriately if you want to split the workload up among different members of staff.

The web-based interface is clever and comprehensive. If we have a criticism, which runs across the whole administration UI, it’s that it is rather too pretty. It isn’t always obvious where to click to perform an operation, and we would prefer more buttons to make operation more simplistic. An admin tool shouldn’t be designed for looks but for efficient function.

Microsoft Windows Intune

The key to Intune is the toolbar that sits on the left-hand side of the window. System Overview sits at the top, offering a main view of system status and alerts. It’s here you can see whether managed machines have issues with virus protection, if updates are ready to be pushed out, or whether a user has requested a Remote Assistance session.

Next on the list is Computers, which provides an inventory of the computers being managed by Intune. You can create groups of computers and place machines into those groups. This could be useful for bringing together all laptops used by salesmen, for example. Drill into this view and you can access all the details you need on an individual machine: there’s a summary tab, a list of updates applied to the machine, any malware information that’s reported together with system alerts, and finally the hardware and software inventories.

The Updates tab gives a comprehensive list of all the different types of updates that can be applied to the computers: critical, security, definition, service packs, rollups and mandatory updates. Here, you can configure how these updates will be pushed onto the target machines, and check that the updates worked correctly.

Details

Software subcategory System tools

Operating system support

Operating system Windows Vista supported? yes
Operating system Windows XP supported? yes

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