At Tech Ed in Boston, Microsoft said it released the SMS software management and deployment platform upgrade to manufacturing on Tuesday. The Redmond, Wash.-based software giant also announced availability of a beta version of its SMS OS Deployment Feature Pack with support for the 64-bit versions of Windows XP and Vista.
The SMS platform was recently renamed as part of Microsoft's System Center rebranding effort for its management software product line. System Center Configuration Manager 2007, the next SMS version, is scheduled to be released in mid-2007 and will offer support for clients, servers and mobile devices.
Also at the conference, Microsoft said it released a beta version for System Center Operations Manager 2007, its next-generation management and monitoring platform, formerly known as Microsoft Operations Manager.
The System Center offering will be the first management product to support Microsoft's System Definition Model (SDM) and will offer service-oriented management for Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft SharePoint technologies, Active Directory and applications built on SQL Server 2005.
The SMS releases due out this summer will enable solution providers and administrators to support more third-party and custom line-of-business applications and begin preparing for the deployment of 64-bit Windows XP and Vista.
SMS 2003 R2, for example, features the Inventory Tool for Custom Updates, the Custom Updates Publishing Tool and the Scan Tool for Vulnerability Assessment. The beta version of SMS 2003 R2 was released in February.
The OS Deployment Feature Pack will offer support for 64-bit Windows XP and unique features in Vista such as the new Windows Imaging Format.