Windows Intune Getting Started Guide
Updated: December 12, 2012
Windows Intune provides a cloud-based unified device management service that can help businesses of all sizes manage and secure personal computers and mobile devices worldwide. This most recent update extends client support to Windows 8, Windows RT, Windows Phone 8 using Windows cloud services, and Apple iOS devices. Windows Intune can help you support a “bring your own device” environment so your employees can concentrate on their jobs while you help manage their computers and mobile devices—regardless of location.
This document is designed to help you evaluate the main features of Windows Intune and set up your new Windows Intune environment. To facilitate this process, this document uses an example configuration for a business called Adatum. Throughout this paper, you will see screenshots taken from this environment that illustrate how you can similarly configure your Windows Intune environment. Subsequently, you can implement the documented steps to create and customize your environment to meet your own business needs.
Which Configuration Is Right for You?
As with previous releases, Windows Intune can still be operated in classic cloud-only mode, which doesn’t require on-premises infrastructure. In this case, your configuration will look like Figure 1.
Figure 1. Windows Intune in the Cloud Configuration
However, this release of Windows Intune also introduces a new unified configuration option that can integrate this cloud-based environment with Microsoft System Center 2012 Configuration Manager with Service Pack 1 (SP1). This integrated cloud/on-premises solution uses the Configuration Manager console to help you manage personal computers, servers, mobile devices, and even Mac OS computers from a single location—the Configuration Manager console. Add the Windows Intune service to the Configuration Manager management console through a connector. Figure 2 shows an example of how the unified configuration manages all supported platforms.
Figure 2. Windows Intune in the Unified Configuration
If you plan to use this unified configuration, the following website provides detailed technical guidance on how to set up System Center 2012 Configuration Manager: Getting Started with System Center 2012 Configuration Manager.
The remainder of this guide focuses on the cloud configuration and is designed to help you get up and running quickly with your Windows Intune service.
To Sign Up or Sign In?
|If your organization has an Enterprise Agreement (EA), you should contact your Microsoft representative and he or she will work with you to set up your enterprise trial.|
If you are a small or medium sized business without an Enterprise Agreement or equivalent volume licensing agreement with Microsoft, you can sign up for a free 30-day trial of Windows Intune by visiting:
If you click the “get your free 30-day trial now,” button at the top of the page you will be directed to the Sign up page. At the top left of this page is the following message:
If your organization already has a Microsoft Online Services organization identifier (OrgID), it is essential that you click the Sign in option in this text and authenticate by using the Global Administrator account. This action will ensure that your Windows Intune trial links to your existing Microsoft Online Services account.
Getting Started with the Windows Management Portals
There are two Administrator management portals that you can use to access the various features of your Windows Intune service: the Account Portal in Figure 3 and the Admin Portal in Figure 4.
Account Portal: https://account.manage.microsoft.com
Figure 3. Windows Intune Account Console
The Account Portal is a common configuration interface that administrators can use to manage users, groups, and domains for all Microsoft Online services, including Windows Intune and Office 365. With this online portal, you can check the status of your subscriptions, add new subscriptions, and activate new user accounts. It is also where you can set up and configure the link to your on-premise Active Directory Domain Service (ADDS) instance. In addition, end users can use the portal to change their passwords.
Admin Portal: https://admin.manage.microsoft.com
Figure 4. Windows Intune Administration Console System Overview Screen
In the figure above, you can see the three main information panels for Windows Intune. On the left is the Navigation panel, which contains links to Windows Intune workspaces. (Note that each feature in Windows Intune has a workspace.) In the middle of the screen is the main information panel that provides the detailed view for the workspace, which in this example is the Systems Overview workspace. Finally, on the right is the Tasks panel, which generates a context sensitive list of available tasks for the selected workspace.
If you are in the process of setting up your Windows Intune solution, you may not have much information to display. However, you can start to familiarize yourself with the workspaces and tasks available in each area until you start enrolling computers.
This guide consists of the following topics:
Configure Your Windows Intune Environment
This topic will help you to:
- Sign up for a Windows Intune subscription.
- Learn about the key features and benefits of Windows Intune, and how you can make the most of this release.
- Understand the operating system requirements for mobile devices and client computers, and browser requirements for the Windows Intune administrator console and Windows Intune company portal.
- Learn about new web-based administrative tools and enhancements, including support for your connected mobile devices, such as mobile phones and tablet devices.
- Understand administrator roles for Windows Intune and how to add and delegate administrators.
- Set up policies with recommended or custom settings to deploy to managed computers or users’ mobile devices.
Add Computers, Users, and Mobile Devices to Windows Intune
This topic will help you to:
- Add computers to Windows Intune by installing the Windows Intune client software on computers that you want to manage.
- Manually add users and security groups to the Windows Intune account portal, or activate synchronized users and add them to the Windows Intune user group in the Windows Intune account portal.
- Learn how mobile devices are added to Windows Intune.
- Understand user-to-device linking and link a user to a computer.
- Learn about enhancements to groups in Windows Intune, which let you create user and device groups that have dynamic membership queries; create device groups to organize computers; and create user groups so that you can deploy mobile security policies to that group for members’ mobile devices.
- Set up automatic update approval rules to help ensure that important updates are rapidly deployed and set an installation deadline for automatic update approvals.
- Configure alert notifications to help ensure that you or other administrators receive email notifications about the latest alerts.
Optimizing Your Environment
This topic will help you to:
- Create a custom report to identify computers that have pending updates, export an Endpoint Protection status report, and use filters to create a hardware report.
- Learn about the capabilities available in Windows Intune for making licensed software available to users.
- Respond to a user request for remote assistance and remote control that user’s managed computer to provide assistance.
Click on the desired link above to get started.