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Microsoft Readies Systems Manager Server 2003

The software, featuring advanced patch-deployment features and other additions, is set for launch on Nov. 11.

As part of its Dynamic Systems Initiative and patch management plans, Microsoft plans to officially launch its Systems Management Server 2003 on Nov. 11.

SMS 2003, which is expected to be released into manufacturing Oct. 22 and unveiled at IT Forum in Copenhagen, Denmark, in November, features enhanced patch and application deployment, advanced remote management for laptops and handheld devices, new asset-management features and tools to speed deployment, said Bob Muglia, senior VP of Microsoft's Enterprise Management Division.

SMS 2003 will feature integrated enterprise patch-deployment tools and WAN-aware application and operating system software distribution, executives noted during a meeting with CRN on Tuesday.

As Microsoft strives to improve the overall management of the Windows infrastructure, SMS 2003 will play a more-effective role in distributing full software upgrades, such as the forthcoming Office 2003 applications and security patches, Muglia said.

Microsoft also said it released its forthcoming Microsoft Operations Manager 2004 into private beta-testing last week and plans to ship the upgrade in mid-2004. Operations Manager 2004 will offer management packs for security and Web services support, executives added.

In the near term, Microsoft will announce at its Professional Developer's Conference later this month the availability of the Microsoft Operations Manager Connector Framework, which will let customers integrate Operations Manager with third-party management frameworks including IBM Tivoli, Computer Associates Unicenter and SMARTS, executives said.

The framework and connectors will enable bidirectional information exchange and Web services-based APIs.

In addition, Microsoft will deliver to partners Microsoft Operations Manager Management packs from key application and Web-services vendors including Actional, Amberpoint and CA's Adjoin, executives noted.

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