Windows administrators who use Microsoft's desktop management system finally have the end of a long road in sight.
The software company said on Wednesday that it has shipped Systems Management Server 2003 to manufacturing. The product will launch on Nov. 11 at an IT conference in Europe.
Users and analysts have said SMS 2003 is a big step forward for the software, whose earlier iterations were troublesome for a variety of reasons. SMS 2003 offers improved asset management, reporting tools and mobile support, among other things.
The product was delayed a few times, but that never bothered users, who said they were more interested in Microsoft fixing the problems and getting it right in the end.
The estimated retail price for SMS 2003 with 10-device client-access licenses is $1,219, Microsoft said.
David Hamilton, director of product management in the management business group at Microsoft, said there were 40 or 50 companies testing the software and more than 250,000 desktops using the software.
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