Intel vPro to Report for Duty in Desktops

The chip maker's new platform for business PCs will arrive in September.

Business desktop PCs are set to get smarter next month with the arrival of chip maker Intels vPro platform for corporate desktops.

The platform, which is based on Intels recently introduced Core 2 Duo processor along with a new supporting chip set that includes baked-in management technology, will be unveiled in early September, company officials have told eWEEK.

When it launched the vPro brand in April, Intel promised the ensuing platform would help make business PCs easier for IT staffs to administer by offering a number of remote management tools, promoting closer ties to management software makers such as LANDesk and stepping up security. The key to those features is an updated version of Intels Active Management Technology and the ability to use virtualization. Dubbed AMT 2.0, the hardware/software management engine provides the on-board capability to accomplish tasks such as monitor a PCs hardware and software configurations and thus assess its overall health.

/zimages/6/28571.gifTo read more about Intels turnaround plans, click here.

"We think its time to reinvent the desktop," Paul Otellini, Intels CEO, said during the April 24 vPro brand launch event in San Francisco. "We think its time to reinvent those 85 million [desktops shipped per year] and help bring better manageability [and] better security into the business environment. Its all about driving costs down and driving productivity up for our employees."

After months of development and testing, numerous PC makers are expected to launch at least one vPro desktop model. Among them are Dell, Gateway, Hewlett-Packard and Lenovo Group.

Although it might appear that vPros baked-in capabilities level the playing field among the manufacturers in some respects—PC makers often use the so-called manageability features of their machines to differentiate themselves—companies such as Lenovo are instead welcoming the platform as a springboard to help set their machines apart.

Lenovo will pair vPro with LANDesk management software and its own ThinkVantage technologies, which center on maintaining and protecting users data and applications, for example.

"We actually think that when you sit down and look at all three of these solutions together, a ThinkCentre from Lenovo probably has the most innovation out of all the PC manufacturers that are out there," said Thomas Tobul, executive director for global desktop marketing at Lenovo, speaking from the PC makers Beijing offices.

Tobul declined to offer details on Lenovos vPro plans, however.

Next Page: Advanced services and virtualization.