Microsoft augmented its management software offerings line by acquiring Canadian assest tracking firm AssetMetrix today. Ina Fried has the scoop at CNET:
Founded in March 2000, AssetMetrix helps businesses manage their fleet of PCs and software. Felicity McGourty, director of product management in Microsoft’s Windows and enterprise management division, said that AssetMetrix’ technology will allow customers to get a better handle on their non-Microsoft software.
(AssetMetrix CEO) Campbell declined to discuss the terms of the deal, which was first reported by CNET News.com and announced Wednesday at the Microsoft Management Summit in San Diego.
Microsoft plans to incorporate some of the Ottawa-based company’s technology into its forthcoming System Center Configuration Manager product, in particular AssetMetrix’s technology for helping companies manage their software licenses.
Update 4/27: If the name AssetMatrix seemed familiar, Gregg Keizer’s article Microsoft Snaps Up Asset-Tracking Vendor, Co-Founder Unhappy should remind you:
“It was more of a technology purchase than of the company’s business,” said Steve O’Halloran, one of the co-founders of AssetMetrix.
“I don’t think that Microsoft will continue with the AssetMetrix business. I think a lot of companies would be leery of their [hardware and software] inventory data being held in a Microsoft-owned data structure,” O’Halloran added.
O’Halloran left AssetMetrix shortly before the Microsoft acquisition was announced, over business plan disagreements with the company’s managers. He said Wednesday that his departure was independent of the talks with Microsoft that led to the purchase. O’Halloran still holds what he called a “large stake” in AssetMetrix.
“On one hand, I’m happy about the acquisition,” he said, “but in another way, I’m sad. It’s unfortunate that the IT community has lost a sentinel, a watchdog, that could report on how hardware and software are used.
“I’d be surprised if Microsoft maintained that transparency.”
In the past AssetMetrix has rebutted Microsoft’s claims that newer operating systems were widely used, and that older versions of Windows were no longer in play.
A 2005 report, for instance, noted that nearly half of enterprises still ran Windows 2000. The report was based on data from AssetMetrix’s research lab, which O’Halloran ran.
“We were also a factor in Microsoft extending Windows 98 support,” O’Halloran said, referring to a 2003 report that said Windows 98 users faced serious security risks even as support was to be terminated. Later, Microsoft extended Windows 98 support for about two-and-a-half years.