Microsoft today announced the beta availability of a new cloud-based management solution for mid-sized businesses called InTune. I'll have a write-up about this service tomorrow, but here's the word from the Windows 7 Blog:

We’ve talked a lot about the benefits to optimizing your Windows desktops and how Microsoft can help large companies reduce their TCO and have a more dynamic IT environment. But today I’d like to focus on smaller businesses, specifically the midsize businesses with 25 to 500 PCs in their environment and show them some love.

Many of these companies don’t have the resources or budget to setup and maintain an on-premise desktop management infrastructure and they want enterprise-class solutions. They’ve been coming to us asking for a solution that will meet their specific needs and budget. At the same time, we are seeing medium-sized businesses increasingly turn to cloud solutions. They are doing this because it gives them new IT capabilities with lower upfront investment and without the restrictions of traditional on-premise infrastructure.

Based on this customer feedback and trends, we’ve come up with an offering for this customer segment that will meet their needs.

Today I’m very excited to talk about how we’re advancing Microsoft’s cloud strategy with a new online offering for PC management and security combined with the best Windows experience called Windows Intune. Windows Intune simplifies how businesses manage and secure PCs using Windows cloud services and Windows 7—making it easier for IT staff to manage and secure PCs from virtually anywhere. In addition to the core cloud service in this offering, we’re also providing access to Windows 7 Enterprise upgrades as well as advanced on-premise management and virtualization tools (Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack).

We are making the public beta of Windows Intune available to 1,000 customers and IT partners in the US, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico today.

Check out the post for the rest.