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October 17, 2006

Microsoft acquisitions rolled up into Software Assurance offering

Posted by David Hunter at 6:49 PM ET.

Elizabeth Montalbano at Infoworld:

Microsoft has rolled offerings from several acquisitions into one product that will be available in January to volume-license customers who purchased its Software Assurance maintenance program.

The Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack for Software Assurance is comprised of software from Microsoft’s purchases of Softricity, AssetMetrix, Winternals Software, and DesktopStandard, said Gabriella Schuster, senior director of product management for Microsoft’s Windows client business group.

The product rolls up virtualization software from Softricity, asset-management software from AssetMetrix, group policy-management software from DesktopSoftware (sic), and diagnostic and recovery tools from Winternals into a product designed to help companies manage desktops in an enterprise, she said.

The Desktop Optimization Pack will be available first with the Softricity offering, now branded Microsoft Softgrid, in January 2007 for a subscription rate of $10 per desktop per year for customers who have purchased Microsoft Software Assurance, Schuster said. These customers will get the software in kits they receive periodically as volume-license customers. The software will also be available for download on the Web, Schuster said.

The rest of the package will roll out through the first half of 2007. Specifically, the pieces are (from the press release):

Producing this bundle was apparently the objective of the acquisitions:

Putting technology from different acquisitions into one product bundle was no accident, Schuster said. She said Microsoft talked to customers about the pain points of managing Windows desktops across the enterprise, and they mentioned asset-management, virtualization, group policy-management and diagnostic and recovery of applications as tools they needed to help solve those problems.

“We found what we thought were best-of-breed [companies] and acquired them specifically to create this pack,” Schuster said. “We wanted to do this comprehensively for enterprise customers.”

It’s nice that the Microsoft Software Assurance customers are being offered this package since their big complaint in the past has been that they don’t get anything from their subscriptions but free product upgrades which have been rather scarce in recent years. However, one can’t help but wonder if Software Assurance is to be the only outlet for the tools acquired from these companies.

In that regard, the Softricity products seem to have a life of their own and the press release calls out the fact that AssetMetrix technology is also available via Microsoft’s Systems Management Server, but there doesn’t seem to be an immediate alternative for the others.  In particular, one would think that the offered Winternals toolset would have much broader applicability for Microsoft customers than just those with a Software Assurance subscription and it doesn’t encompass all the former Winternals tools. Hopefully the other products and non-Software Assurance customers won’t be forgotten.

Filed under Acquisitions, Application Virtualization, Configuration Manager, General Business, Licensing, Microsoft, Servers, Virtualization

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4 Responses to “Microsoft acquisitions rolled up into Software Assurance offering”

  1. TechEd 2007 roundup: Katmai, Orcas, acquisitions and more -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) for Software Assurance has sold a million licenses and will have a variety of components available July 1, 2007. [...]

  2. Microsoft releases SoftGrid 4.1 SP1 -- Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] It is a trifle later than was anticipated, but Microsoft has released Service Pack 1 for its SoftGrid 4.1 application virtualization package. SoftGrid, which now has its own website, arrived with last year’s Microsoft acquisition of Softricity, but is only available as part of the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack which is a benefit of the Software Assurance offering for volume license customers. Filed under Acquisitions, Virtualization, Microsoft, Application Virtualization [...]

  3. Microsoft’s latest technology buys: Rapt and Kidaro | Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] Yet another technogoodie sequestered behind the wall of the Desktop Optimization Pack which is only available to Microsoft Software Assurance customers who have opted to pay extra for the subscription. Admittedly, management of numerous virtual PC’s is more likely a large enterprise requirement but the restricted delivery means that small innovators are effectively shut out.   Filed under Acquisitions, Coopetition, Google, Virtualization, Virtual PC, General Business, Licensing, Ad-supported software, Microsoft, DoubleClick   [Permalink] [TrackBack] [...]

  4. Microsoft adds Kidaro to MDOP, makes Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization | Microsoft News Tracker Says:

    [...] Microsoft created the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) in 2006 as a home for four acquired technologies including Softgrid’s application virtualization, but oddly delivered it only as a perk for System Assurance customers which as a rule are the larger enterprises. Apparently, Microsoft feels that the virtualization portion is the real draw and last week they announced that they are adding the desktop virtualization technologies they acquired with Kidaro and renaming MDOP as Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization: We’ve invested over $400 million in developing and expanding MDOP thus far, and I’m very excited to share with you that we have officially finalized the acquisition of Kidaro Technologies, whose products enable a seamless combination of applications running from within both a host and guest OS. This technology will help enable end users to run applications from multiple versions of Windows at the same time, with seamless windowing and menus, and without the confusion of logging into and seeing multiple virtual machine desktops. The product teams are working closely with our new colleagues from Kidaro to incorporate the desktop virtualization technologies into MDOP in the first half of 2009, under the new product name Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization. We will continue investing here because we know manageability is fundamental to broad corporate use of desktop virtualization. [...]

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