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Crash Help Now Available for Microsoft Desktop Add-On

Microsoft's subscription-based desktop management program is adding another branch to its tree, in the form of error monitoring to help with crashes.

Windows Vista senior product manager Alex Heaton, on the Vista Team blog, announced today that System Center Desktop Error Monitoring has been added to the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP). Error monitoring gives IT admins a central way to gather and analyze data when an application or OS hangs or crashes "so they can more quickly identify and resolve problems," he wrote.

The same blog posting also announced that the first versions of all the MDOP components will be available for download on July 1, including the Vista-ready version of one of those components, SoftGrid Application Virtualization.

The MDOP has been a popular upgrade, according to Heaton. "The demand for these tools has been incredible and more than 1 million licenses have been sold already," he wrote.

With the addition of error monitoring, the MDOP now contains five modules:

  • SoftGrid, which delivers applications as a service when users need them. The application resides on a server, and a user can retrieve it whenever, and from wherever, necessary.
  • Asset Inventory Service, which scans and translates inventory data into a useful format for administrators.
  • Advanced Group Policy Management, which builds on the standard group policy model of user and computer management.
  • Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset, which repairs unbootable or locked-out systems and diagnoses various security and network issues.
  • System Center Desktop Error Monitoring.

Microsoft claims that one hospital, the Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, has saved more than $1 million just through the use of SoftGrid due to reduced deployment and support related costs.

There appears to be some confusion about when all the components will be shipping. Microsoft's MDOP page says that the Asset Inventory Service will be available in late summer 2007, which is at odds with Heaton's pronouncement that all the pieces will be ready to download on July 1.

Pricing for the MDOP isn't listed on the Microsoft website, but it is available as an add-on subscription license for Software Assurance customers.

About the Author

Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Virtualization & Cloud Review. Follow him on Twitter @VirtReviewKeith.

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