Thanks to everyone who wrote today to tell me that Microsoft has released Beta 1 of its Systems Management Server 2.0, code-named "Opal." SMS 2.0 provides scalable, easy to use deployment and configuration management of Windows-based PCs in an enterprise, improving the inventory, distribution and installation, and diagnostics capabilities offered with SMS 1.2. New features in SMS 2.0 include easier install and use, richer management facilities, better software distribution capabilities, administration tools to meter software use, and more.

For more information about SMS 2.0 and to download the beta, please visit the Microsoft Systems Management Server Web site