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Service Desk to have its own reporting capabilities

Despite reports to the contrary, Microsoft says System Center Reporting Manager will remain a standalone product.

Although some are speculating that System Center Reporting Manager will go away as a standalone product, Microsoft says it has no plans to stop selling the reporting tool as a solo offering.

There will be reporting capabilities in Service Desk, Microsoft said, but Reporting Manager will remain a standalone. Whether the reporting capabilities in Service Desk will be borrowed or bundled from the vendor's existing lineup of such tools remains unclear.

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The current version of the reporting tool, which combines data from Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) and Systems Management Server (SMS) into one report, is available for evaluation on Microsoft's System Center trial software page.

"[Microsoft] already has reporting products built into MOM and SMS as well as the reporting manager itself, so it seems unlikely that they would build yet another one," said Peter Pawlak, senior analyst with consulting firm Directions on Microsoft in Kirkland, Wash. "I think it will be more of a bundling issue than building something new."

With the investments that enterprises have already made in help desk products such as BMC Software Inc.'s Remedy and Hewlett-Packard Co.'s Peregrine, a standalone reporting tool would be a more appealing purchase versus having to buy a new help desk product such as Service Desk to get such reporting capabilities, Pawlak added.

A public beta of Service Desk will be available the first half of this year, with an RTM date set for early 2008.

The next version of SMS 2003, which has been renamed System Center Configuration Manager 2007, will be released to manufacturing during the third quarter of this year. System Center Operations Manager 2007, the next version of MOM 2005, will be released to manufacturing during the second quarter of this year.

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