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Microsoft plans service desk

At its Management Summit 2006, Microsoft said it will offer its own service desk. The company also rebranded upcoming versions of SMS, MOM, Exchange and the Monad scripting shell.

Microsoft will release its own service desk product next year, filling in a key gap in the company's management infrastructure.

The product, code-named Service Desk, will ship in 2007, company executives said. The software will include workflow templates and will integrate data from both Microsoft Operations Manager and Systems Management Server.

In addition, Microsoft rebranded several of its key products due out this year and next year. Microsoft Operations Manager version 3.0 will become Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2007; Systems Management Server 4.0 will become System Center Configuration Manager 2007; and Monad, the command shell and scripting environment, will become Windows Power Shell. System Center is the family name of Microsoft's management software platforms, which is a component of Microsoft's Dynamic Systems Initiative (DSI) strategy to deliver self-managed dynamic systems.

Also, the next version of Exchange Server, code-named Exchange 12, will now be called Exchange Server 2007. Exchange Server 2007 will include a graphical console built on top of Microsoft Management Console 3.0 and PowerShell.

"The renaming is cosmetic though quite important," said Neil Macehiter, a partner at Macehiter-Ward-Dutton, a Cambridge, U.K., consulting firm. "Microsoft is trying to use the System Center brand to solidify its DSI proposition -- to allow DSI to be the initiative and to let System Center realize the initiative."

The rebranding of SMS and MOM was a surprise for Macehiter, however. "Microsoft had argued that MOM and SMS were strong brands," he said. "But to have left them as SMS and MOM meant they would stick out like a sore thumb."

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