Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack for Software Assurance

Just announced today is the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack for Software Assurance which will be available in January 2007 and contains 4 tools.

  • Microsoft SoftGrid
  • Microsoft Asset Inventory Services (looks like AssetMetrix as it is hosted)
  • Microsoft Advanced Group Policy Management (change management of GPOs and role-based delegation)
  • Microsoft Diagnostic and Recovery Toolset (from Winternals purchase)

This will be available as an add-on subscription for Software Assurance customers. Customers with Open Value, Select, Enterprise Agreement (EA), EA Subscription and Campus and School agreements can subscribe through volume licensing, for an estimated retail price of US$10 a year per desktop. $10 – what a bargain!

This is interesting as the announcement is from the Windows Client Product Marketing Group and not the Windows and Enterprise Management Division. Which explains no mention of System Center in the products.

Although the press release states that these tools can be used in conjunction with SMS it does seem that there is some overlap. If you have an EA you already own the CALs for SMS and just need to buy the Primary Servers (Secondary SMS Servers are free). That aside it is a great price to get hold of SoftGrid. When you look at the advantages that it gives – no more complex testing matrix of applications to see if they are suitable for an upgrade – combined with the OS Deployment Feature Pack for SMS along with the Business Desktop Deployment Solution Accelerator then it is going to be hard not to upgrade to Vista and Office 2007 if you have an EA.

Press release –

Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack for Software Assurance
Initial marketing page but links at bottom to 4 PDFs for more detail on each of the components.


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