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.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.
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.