A Tour of Windows Intune's Admin Features: Pictures

The cloud-based Intune is a good bargain for a small business managing multiple PCs. Here's a closer look at how it works for the admin in the driver's seat.

Manage Your PCs with Windows Intune

Microsoft’s Windows Intune service lets you remotely secure, monitor, manage, and assist PCs via the Internet. It starts at $11 per PC each month and includes a free upgrade to Windows 7 Enterprise.

Windows Intune Center

All client computers you enroll in the Windows Intune service will have the Windows Intune Center installed, with a shortcut on their desktop and start menu.

Once they open it, it shows the status of the Windows Intune service and Windows Intune Endpoint Protection for antivirus. It also lets them request remote assistance for tech support, which activates an alert on your admin console and can email a notification to the chosen admin. Additionally, it can also display your tech support contact details if you’ve created a policy for it.

Windows Intune Endpoint Protection Client

If Windows Intune Endpoint Protection is installed, end users will see it on their PCs. It looks and feels just like the client for Microsoft Forefront Endpoint Protection and the free consumer product, Microsoft Security Essentials.

System Overview Workspace

When you first log in to the admin console of Windows Intune, you'll see the System Overview workspace, giving you an overview of the health and status of your client computers. For instance, it may notify you of recent malware infections or Windows Updates you need to approve for installation.

Viewing Hardware Details

The Computers workspace first shows you similar health and status details, as the System Overview page. However, you can drill down to a specific client computer to view its status and more. You can also right-click on a computer to perform remote tasks, such as to run a quick or full virus scan, update virus definitions, or restart the PC.

Viewing New Updates

The Updates workspace lets you browse through available Windows Updates, view their description and details, and approve or decline them for installation on the clients.

Endpoint Protection

The Endpoint Protection workspace shows you alerts related to malware protection on the client computers and gives shortcuts to related help.

Alerts Workspace

In the Alerts workspace you can browse the alerts by the different categories, view their details, and close them after you’ve attend to them.

Viewing a List of Software

The Software workspace lets you view all the programs currently installed on the client computers. You quickly see how many computers have the given software installed and can view a list of the given computers. Here you can also upload and manage programs you want to remotely and silently install onto clients.

Licenses Workspace

In the Licenses workspace, you can upload license information for your Microsoft and third-party titles. It will use the detected software information from Windows Intune and provide stats, such as the number of installations and license counts for titles you’ve purchased.

Creating an Endpoint Protection Policy

The Policy workspace is a powerful component of Windows Intune. You can create policies to manage antivirus, firewall, and the Windows Intune Center settings on the clients. You can specify values for the antivirus and firewall settings, let the end users decide, or have them set via other means.

Reports Workspace

The Reports workspace lets you generate reports on updates, software, hardware, and license information based upon the criteria you select.

Administration Workspace

In the Administration workspace, you can view the number of PCs you’ve activated with Windows Intune, and your remaining seats. You can also configure Update and Alert and Notification settings; manage additional Windows Intune administrators; and download the client software.

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