One easy way for customers to make sure that they’ll be able to make the jump seamlessly to Windows 8 in 2012 without paying a single cent to license the operating system is to subscribe to Windows Intune.
Windows Intune is Microsoft’s Cloud-based PC management and security offering, which offers upgrade benefits as part of a comprehensive collection of services for just $11 per computer per month.
The first version of Intune went live earlier this year, and Microsoft is cooking the second release, which is in Beta development state at this point in time.
The upcoming iteration of Windows Intune will be made available to customers by the end of 2011, and will also cost $11 per PC per month, despite the evolution from the first version.
Windows 7 Enterprise upgrade rights are an inherent benefit of a Windows Intune subscription today.
“All of your managed PCs covered by Windows Intune may be upgraded to Windows 7 Enterprise as long as the qualifying OS is one of the following business editions of Windows: Business, Professional, Ultimate, or Enterprise,” the Redmond company notes.
One of my Microsoft contacts confirmed to me that Windows 8 upgrade benefits will inherently be included into Windows Intune 2012.
At the same time, the software giant also mentions downgrade rights as a part of the Windows Intune subscription.
Windows downgrades, as some readers might know, allow customers to run an older version of Windows and then upgrade to the latest release through the same license agreement, and without paying anything extra. Companies can get two versions of Windows at the price of one, so to speak.
“In addition to Windows 7 upgrade rights, Windows Intune customers will have rights to upgrade to future versions of Windows, as well as downgrade rights to older versions. As long as your subscription is active, you will have access to the best version of Windows for your business to standardize on—making your PC environment easier to manage,” Microsoft notes.
The thing to remember is that with Windows Intune 2012, the Windows 7 Enterprise upgrade benefits will become Windows 8 upgrade benefits.
Windows 8 Upgrades and Downgrades Part of Windows Intune 2012