Whatever happened to… ?

Over the past several months Microsoft has acquired some incredible desktop management technologies including those from Softricity, Winternals, DesktopStandard, and AssetMetrix. Since then, many of you have wanted know how we are going offer these capabilities in a Microsoft solution.

Today we are happy to announce the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack for Software Assurance. A desktop management solution designed to complement Windows Vista Enterprise to provide even higher levels of manageability for desktops and software assets.

Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack for Software Assurance includes:

· Microsoft SoftGrid, an application virtualization and streaming solution that can deliver applications to users in seconds, without being locally installed, on any PC they login to. Virtualization also resolves many application compatibility conflicts because each application can run with the version of a supporting file that it needs.

· Microsoft Asset Inventory Services, which analyzes all programs on employee PCs, reducing the labor and guesswork that often stymies attempts to inventory the applications on the PCs within an organization and turns that into intelligent reports and analysis.

· Microsoft Advanced Group Policy Management, which provides versioning, history, and rollback of Group Policy settings, along with delegation and role based administration.

· Microsoft Diagnostic and Recovery Toolset, designed to help IT departments quickly pinpoint the causes of PC troubles, recover lost data, and reduce future downtime with post-crash analysis.

Like Windows Vista Enterprise, Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack will only be available to customers who have PCs covered by Microsoft Software Assurance or a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement. This is another example of delivering on our commitment that Software Assurance will continue to provide the most cost-effective and flexible means of managing the Windows desktop.

This pack will be available worldwide in January 2007. For those already planning your Windows Vista deployments in your enterprise, it should reassuring to know that you will have an even richer set of tools available to you to manage those deployed desktops. You can learn more about the Optimization Pack in this article and at http://www.windowsvista.com/optimizeddesktop.

- Alex Heaton