This week I’m in Orlando for Microsoft’s TechEd conference. I’ve been doing video blogs to share the briefing information I’m getting, so I’ll keep this week’s commentary short and let you link to the videos. In upcoming issues of Vista Update, I’ll dive into the tools being announced and give you analysis. For now, here’s an overview of the Windows Vista announcements this week.

Readers of Vista UPDATE have commented on the need for enterprise deployment tools for Vista, and Microsoft is responding by packaging a set of deployment aids, the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) for Software Assurance. (Yes, MDOP is available only to SA customers. When I asked about that limitation, the answer was that Microsoft hopes tools like these will provide such value that people will want to become SA customers. And Microsoft is touting a milestone of one million SA subscriptions sold.) MDOP includes the following:

  • SoftGrid Application Virtualization for Windows Vista, available July 1, 2007 (SoftGrid has been available for Windows XP)
  • Asset Inventory Service (AIS), a software inventory scanning service. This hosted service for Vista will also be available July 1, 2007.
  • System Center Desktop Error Monitoring (DEM), a tool aimed at reducing Help desk costs by centralizing error reports and providing alerts and trend analysis.
  • Microsoft Advanced Group Policy Management (AGPM), a tool that provides capabilities for doing change management, versioning and rollbacks (e.g., configuration, firewall, and auto-update settings) by means of Group Policy Objects (GPOs). In addition, AGPM extends Group Policy with a role-based administration and delegation model.
  • Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset (DaRT), formerly Sysinternals’ ERD Commander, a unified UI for restoring PCs after crashes or boot failures.

You can view the videos of Microsoft’s TechEd briefings below:


Interview with Roger Murff

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Interview with Winni Verfoef

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Interview with Dan Holme

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Interview with Stella Chernyak

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