Microsoft's InTune: Price Too High for SMB?
Microsoft’s cloud-based Windows InTune gives IT administrators for midsize businesses an enterprise-style level of control over a network, via a combination of cloud services, on-site PC-management tools and added malware protection. Whether it involves checking that software licenses are up-to-date, or diagnosing unbootable PCs, the platform is supposed to be streamlined for those IT pros’ ease of use.
But is it the right price?
One analyst feels that InTune—one of Microsoft’s first forays into broad cloud services for businesses—might prove a little too dear for smaller companies’ bottom line. According to Microsoft’s official Windows InTune page, the platform costs $11 per PC per month. The minimum subscription term is one year.
Yet based on a Web survey he conducted for Microsoft to judge InTune’s uptake among its possible customer base, Endpoint Technologies Associates analyst Roger Kay concluded on his Forbes blog that "uptake at $11 would be limited." In addition, the company "is trying to bill for values, like encryption management, not yet clear to the target market." (Kay disclosed in the posting that his firm consults for Microsoft.)
Microsoft is also bundling Windows 7 Enterprise upgrade rights with Intune, the better to increase the business presence of Windows 7, on which the company still relies for a major portion of its revenue. Kay’s posting seems to focus on analyzing InTune primarily as a channel for obtaining a Windows 7 license, as opposed to a management service.