Cisco Systems has released a major update of CiscoWorks Windows. Version 5.0 of Cisco’s integrated device manager for Windows NT networks provides one point-of-access and one format for managing all the Cisco devices on a network. CiscoWorks Windows 5.0 gives administrators a consistent interface for examining and managing all Cisco devices. This interface, called CiscoView, presents a realistic picture of the physical hardware from which you can access various values and controls with a simple point-and-click. Cisco also integrated the latest version of Ipswitch’s WhatsUp Gold as part of CiscoWorks Windows. WhatsUp Gold provides CiscoWorks with a moderate level of non-Cisco-device awareness. Cisco designed CiscoWorks Windows 5.0 for small- to medium-sized businesses and high ease-of-use. Sylvia Clark, product manager for CiscoWorks Windows, explained that this version was a real reinvention of the product. "We changed many of the components," she said, "responding to many questions from users about managing a smaller network." According to Clark, "CiscoWorks Windows is designed to help small organizations. It’s for those that can’t afford large, well-trained IT staff or high-end dedicated workstations." Clark repeatedly emphasized CiscoWorks Windows 5.0's ease-of-use, adding that the company had given this version a Windows look-and-feel. Although CiscoWorks Windows 5.0 is fully compatible with Windows 9x, it works better on NT than on Windows 98 due to NT's built-in management tools. However, the product isn’t Windows 2000 (Win2K)-compatible. Clark explained that Cisco wasn’t comfortable declaring compatibility before Microsoft released Win2K and Cisco could adequately test it. She said that the next version of CiscoWorks Windows will be fully Win2K-compatible. CiscoWorks Windows 5.0 costs $1995. The version of WhatsUp Gold contained in version 5.0 is the same one that Ipswitch sells separately for $695 (download a trial copy from Ipswitch’s Web site). For more information about Cisco products, see Cisco’s Web site.