In addition to announcing Office for iPad during Satya Nadella's first public press event since becoming Microsoft's new CEO, the company also formally announced a new bundled product suite called Enterprise Mobility Suite (EMS). EMS now has its own web site on the Microsoft web property located here: Enterprise Mobility Suite.
EMS is the next step in Microsoft's continuing evolution of a Cloud-based mobile device management (MDM) solution. EMS bundles together Azure AD, Azure Rights Management, and Windows Intune and will be available as an Enterprise Volume License offering starting on May 2, 2014.
While Azure AD and Azure Rights Management make the bundle worthwhile but themselves, the key piece in the mix is Windows Intune. I've talked about Windows Intune a lot and I believe the product is hugely important to the future of Microsoft endpoint management, in general.
As Microsoft prepares for TechEd 2014, and Brad Anderson continues stacking the slide deck with important announcements, it will be interesting to watch how Windows Intune evolves in the next couple months and will also be interesting to see if Microsoft will actually drop the "Windows" branding from the Cloud-based management service to follow suit with other recent name changes like it's done with Microsoft Azure. Microsoft removed "Windows" from Azure because Azure supports much more than just Windows systems. It would be easy for Intune to follow suit since the solution provides management support for Android and iOS, and not just Windows.
New features for Windows Intune are coming and reportedly to release just prior to TechEd 2014, at the end of April. So far, the only features that have been communicated so far are:
- Support for the upcoming update to Windows Phone (Windows Phone 8.1)
- Support for Samsung Galaxy devices supported with the KNOX platform
- Remote to My PC from Android and iOS devices
But, you can expect even more features to be announced at TechEd 2014. Azure AD and Azure Rights Management are robust offerings and Windows Intune is the piece that needs to keep up.
And, as you can see from the short list, development for Windows Intune is heavy on cross-platform. I expect to hear a name change for Windows Intune at TechEd 2014, if not sooner.
New features and new announcements mean you can count on in-depth technical coverage of Windows Intune and EMS at IT/Dev Connections 2014 in September.