Microsoft Offers SoftGrid Through Software Assurance

At the SoftSummit conference in Santa Clara, California, Microsoft announced plans to release a set of new software tools designed to take care of some of the biggest pain points that enterprises experience when deploying and managing desktops and applications. The Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack for Software Assurance (SA) will include the SoftGrid for Windows product that was acquired from Boston-based Sof

At the SoftSummit conference in Santa Clara, California, Microsoft announced plans to release a set of new software tools designed to take care of some of the biggest pain points that enterprises experience when deploying and managing desktops and applications.

The Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack for Software Assurance (SA) will include the SoftGrid for Windows product that was acquired from Boston-based Softricity earlier this year. The product is used to virtualize applications, meaning they can run on multiple PCs and other licensed desktops running Microsoft Windows without being locally installed. Instead, they run as individual networked services, enabling central deployment and management, minimizing compatibility problems and providing employees more ways to access applications.

Also included in the optimization pack will be a software inventory program, Microsoft Asset Inventory Services, which is designed to analyze all programs on employee PCs and provide the most current, accurate inventory.

The pack will also incorporate the Microsoft Advanced Group Policy Management tool that increases control over Group Policy Objects. It is intended to allow IT administrators to delegate or assign administrative control of specific tasks based on employees' titles or roles.

And finally, it will add the IT admin pack acquired from Winternals in July. The pack will be renamed to the Microsoft Diagnostic and Recovery Toolset. The tool makes it possible for the IT department to quickly pinpoint the causes of PC troubles, recover lost data and prevent future downtime with post-crash analysis.

Beginning in January 2007, Microsoft plans to offer the optimization pack worldwide as an add-on subscription for companies with Software Assurance agreements. The cost for those users is estimated at $10 a year per desktop.

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