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Microsoft Launches Intune in Azure Portal

Microsoft on Thursday announced the general availability of its Intune mobile device and mobile application management solution as managed through the Azure Portal.

Intune is typically available as part of Microsoft's Enterprise Mobility + Security (EMS) licensing bundle. In December, Microsoft had announced a preview of Intune controls from within the Azure Portal. The Azure Portal is a browser-based administrative console used for managing Azure services, but Microsoft planned to move all of Intune's capabilities into that portal as part of a general consolidation effort.

Thursday's announcement signals that the consolidation effort is complete, and the use of Intune from the Azure Portal is ready for production use by organizations.

In addition, Microsoft indicated that conditional access policies can now be set using Intune in the Azure Portal as that feature has reached general availability, too. Conditional access is Microsoft's phrase for setting policy conditions for granting device access to network resources. With those policies in place, end users get challenged, or locked out, if their devices don't meet various compliance criteria.

The Intune announcement follows an earlier one this week indicating that conditional access policy support is now available for Microsoft Teams, which is Microsoft's Office 365 workspace collaboration service. Conditional access also is available from within the Azure Portal itself, Microsoft indicated.

There are three advantages to using Intune via the Azure Portal, according to Microsoft. It can be used on "any browser on any device form-factor." There's better integration with Azure Active Directory and Azure Information Protection services. And lastly, it unlocks access to the Microsoft Graph API, which is the developer interface for the search service that underlies various Office 365 services. Microsoft Graph API access is currently at the preview stage, but general availability will arrive "in the coming quarter," Microsoft promised.

The general move of Intune and conditional access capabilities to the Azure Portal is Microsoft's basic plan. New features will be destined for the portal.

"From this point forward, all new Intune and conditional access features will be delivered in the new portal, so keep an eye out," Microsoft's announcement stated.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.

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