Microsoft released the public beta of a desktop management tool that includes features such as host protection with anti-malware and Microsoft updates, desktop monitoring, desktop configuration, IT asset inventory management, and remote assistance.
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For its System Center Online Desktop Manager (SCODM), Microsoft cherry-picked features from the Desktop Optimization Pack, such as Group Policy and asset inventory, along with anti-malware and services that were available in the unsuccessful One Care suite, which was discontinued from online sales this month.
Kirkland, Wash.-based Directions on Microsoft systems management analyst Don Retallack said that although the online version of Systems Center for desktops is "certainly not a full offering, [it] is a combination of different product technologies that target what SMBs [small and medium-sized businesses] need for their systems, put into one product."
SCODM is hosted in Microsoft's data centers on fault-tolerant servers that are load-balanced from server to server, and IT professionals can access it from a Web-based console based on Silverlight technology. Microsoft's service-level guarantee is 99.9% uptime, and the company guarantees security.
SCODM eliminates the infrastructure requirements for support, which is good for SMBs, but it also means using Microsoft's cloud services, which IT pros may or may not be comfortable with, Retallack said.
Information about SCODM's general availability, licensing or pricing is not yet available.
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