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Windows management products falling into place

Microsoft is preparing a series of releases related to manageability, with a new version of MOM leading the pack.

It looks like Microsoft's latest server monitoring software is just about ready to roll.

Microsoft's Windows manageability team is preparing several releases for this fall. First up will be Microsoft's server monitoring software, Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) 2005, with its improved deployment features.

Microsoft recently said MOM would be available in "about a month or so." One source said the actual release-to-manufacturing date

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will be late August, and that it will be generally available in mid-September.

What makes the product valuable is that Microsoft as a corporation has latched onto the concept that any Windows Server System product will ship with management packs for MOM 2005, said Peter Pawlak, a lead analyst with Directions on Microsoft, a Kirkland, Wash., consulting firm.

"The next step will be having third-party applications ship with MOM management packs," he said. "If that picks up steam, we may have a de facto standard for keeping track of applications."

Microsoft will also be releasing a scaled-down version of MOM 2005 called MOM Express, which is geared to smaller-sized business customers.

System Center 2005 has been pushed from fall of 2004 into the first half of 2005. This suite of products includes the System Center Reporting Server, SMS 2003 and MOM 2005.

But two long-awaited management feature packs for SMS will also be ready this fall, said David Hamilton, director of product management in the Management Business Group at Microsoft.

The Device Management Feature Pack provides support for mobile clients and the Operating System Deployment Feature Pack lets administrators deploy and upgrade operating systems from the SMS Management Console.

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