By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2006-10-17 Print this article Print

While Microsoft executives have recently said that Software Assurance renewals are tracking at the highest level in years, that was not always the case. Read more here about how customers have balked at Software Assurance in the past.
Software Assurance customers will also be able to make these technologies available to some, or all, of their desktops, Schuster said, adding that additional technology could be added to the optimization pack in the future.
The Microsoft SoftGrid product will be available in January through the volume license program, while the other three will be released by the end of June and be included in the media kit for the desktop optimization pack shipped to those customers every month, she said. Yankee Group analyst Laura DiDio was upbeat about the new pack, saying that companies need the ability to instantly access and control all of the applications on employee desktops, mobile PCs and other machines. "The Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack directly addresses these issues and will enable businesses to significantly reduce the actual time and actual number of administrators needed to successfully resolve Help Desk problems," she said. Microsofts Schuster said some of the additional technologies the company recently acquired will be made available in other products going forward, such as the Terminal Services version of the Softgrid product, and other services that were acquired under the Assetmetrix deal, but those product plans are still under development. The tools in this new optimization pack also extend the capabilities of Microsoft Systems Management Server. When used together, Microsoft Asset Inventory Services and SMS allow IT administrators to uncover hidden applications and then write routines to capture and manage these applications across the network. Microsofts SMS has gained a new name and fresh focus. Click here to read eWEEK Labs review. "With Microsoft Asset Inventory Services, I can uncover the data to make business decisions, and SMS gives me the tools to implement my business decisions. Its a great match," Expedias Blake said. Check out eWEEK.coms for Microsoft and Windows news, views and analysis.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at www.eweek.com.


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