Microsoft sharpens Windows Intune's cloud device management tool

IT admins will be able to configure email server access on devices and remove it remotely as well

Microsoft will deliver next week a set of new and enhanced features to Windows Intune, the device admin tool that lets organizations manage PCs and mobile devices from the cloud.

Among the new features is the ability for administrators to create email profiles and automatically configure devices with email server information. This new capability also lets administrators zap profiles from devices, along with email messages and attachments.

This upgrade to Windows Intune also takes advantage of new management features in iOS 7, including one that lets administrators establish which applications can be used to open documents and attachments when using iPhones and iPads. Windows Intune has also gained the ability to disable iOS 7's feature that lets users unlock their devices using the iPhone 5S fingerprint reader.

Finally, Windows Intune can now remotely lock a device and reset its password.

Later this year, Microsoft plans to add more email management capabilities, restrictions on applications' data handling, bulk enrollment of devices, ability to allow or forbid applications from running in mobile devices, and web browser control, including site filtering.

Microsoft licenses Windows Intune on a per-user basis. Each user license covers management of five devices.

Microsoft previously built integration between Windows Intune and its on-premises device management tool System Center Configuration Manager, for IT departments that want to have some functions handled behind the firewall and others from the cloud.

Juan Carlos Perez covers enterprise communication/collaboration suites, operating systems, browsers and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Follow Juan on Twitter at @JuanCPerezIDG.

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