ManageSoft Corporation, the fastest growing software configuration management vendor, today released the world's first automated Windows deployment solution for Microsoft Windows Server 2003. ManageSoft for Windows Deployment 2.0 is an end-to-end operating system deployment solution enabling fast and reliable enterprise-wide migration from legacy platforms to Windows 2000, Windows XP, or Windows Server 2003. ManageSoft for Windows Deployment 2.0 provides dramatic cost and time savings for large organizations by providing touch-of-a-button OS migration for hundreds or thousands of computers at once, with automatic backup and restoration of end-users' data and application settings.

"Large enterprises eventually have to upgrade the millions of remaining Windows 9.x and Windows NT legacy systems, and migrate these computers to Windows 2000, XP, or Windows Server 2003. To achieve ongoing management savings, enterprises must find a solution that delivers end-to-end control throughout the cycle of Windows deployment, updates, migration, and ongoing management," commented Michael Silver, Vice President and Research Director at IT analyst group, Gartner.

ManageSoft for Windows Deployment is an end-to-end operating system (OS) deployment solution and provides policy-based central control throughout every phase of a Windows rollout project. Policy-based automation avoids the costs and time delays associated with alternative labor-intensive tasked-based systems. With ManageSoft for Windows Deployment, IT administrators can simply specify which groups of users and computers should receive a new Windows upgrade, what software should be installed on the new platform, and when that policy should be applied. Managed desktops, laptops and servers automatically download and install any differences required to comply with the centrally defined software policy — without requiring human intervention. This set-and-forget policy-based approach and client-centric architecture provide unequalled reliability by transforming managed computers into self-configuring, and self-healing devices.

"ManageSoft for Windows Deployment enabled us to roll out a new Windows platform and 79 different applications to over 500 computers across three separate university campuses — within our deadline of 17 days. In the past that would have been simply impossible. With ManageSoft for Windows Deployment we can roll out a new Windows release to an entire lab of computers in about 25 minutes," commented Mark Ridge, Manager of IT Support Services at leading Australian university, Edith Cowan University (ECU).

ManageSoft for Windows Deployment is the only OS deployment solution to provide native integration with Microsoft Active Directory, a key component of the recently released Windows Server 2003 platform, Windows XP, and Windows 2000. Active Directory allows organizations to centrally manage and share information on network resources and users while acting as the central authority for network security. ManageSoft for Windows Deployment enables automatic discovery of IT devices throughout an organization, and can use this information to automatically populate the organization's Active Directory service. This is great help for enterprises migrating to Active Directory for the first time, because it dramatically reduces the time, project risk, and cost of new Active Directory implementations.

"ManageSoft for Windows Deployment provides an extremely fast way to plan and target a Windows rollout, with asset discovery enabling us to automatically add computers to our Active Directory service, and then monitor deployment progress against that baseline throughout the rollout project. ManageSoft for Windows Deployment has also reduced by 80% the time it takes to create, update, and test an OS image. We now use a hardware-portable and job-role-independent image instead of the dozens of images we needed previously. Policy-based OS deployment with ManageSoft for Windows Deployment gives us central control and complete automation, which means we no longer have to do costly and time-consuming site visits just to upgrade a PC's operating system. Smart agents on each managed computer automatically download and install the new operating system and appropriate applications for that end-user. ManageSoft's self-configuring and self-healing OS deployment solution is a huge time-saver for us," ECU's Mark Ridge continued.

Key features and business benefits of ManageSoft for Windows 2.0 include:

-- PRE-DEPLOYMENT ASSET DISCOVERY AND REPORTING — To budget and plan for a Windows rollout, organizations need to know what hardware and software they have, and assess what needs to be upgraded or replaced to accommodate the new OS. ManageSoft for Windows Deployment integrates with best-of-breed IT asset discovery tools, and provides zero-touch inventory, hardware assessment and software reports to enable accurate, cost-effective migration planning. This enables enterprises to know what they've got, what they are targeting, what changes are required before the rollout proceeds, and to monitor progress reporting against that baseline throughout the project.

-- REDUCED DEPLOYMENT COSTS WITH A HARDWARE-PORTABLE IMAGE — Unlike approaches that require hundreds of different OS images, ManageSoft uses a hardware-portable and job-role-independent installation base. Smart agents determine what's needed to achieve the desired state on each device, enabling automated download, self-configuring, and self-healing.

-- TIGHTEST INTEGRATION WITH SYMANTEC GHOST — ManageSoft for Windows Deployment integrates seamlessly with Symantec Ghost tools commonly used by large enterprises, including Ghost Explorer, GhostCast Server, and remote Ghost Consoles. This enables organizations to leverage existing IT investments and current administrator skills.

-- BEST-PRACTICE IMAGE RELEASE MANAGEMENT — ManageSoft for Windows Deployment 2.0 is the only solution to provide best practice OS image release management based on vendor-independent IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) guidelines. IT administrators in large organizations can now manage OS images with a central image library providing ITIL best practice version control and release management, and byte-level differencing for rapid bandwidth-efficient image distribution to remote locations.

-- INTELLIGENT MACHINE RENAMING — Smart agents enable sophisticated renaming of computers during migration, automatic domain joining, migration of user data and application settings to renamed PCs, and touch-of-a-button disaster recovery to new or renamed computers (providing increased reliability and reduced business continuity risk).

-- AUTOMATIC RESTORATION OF USER DATA AND APPLICATION SETTINGS — Unlike processes that wipe everything during an OS migration, ManageSoft automatically saves and restores user data and settings so that end-users can start working productively again immediately after a new Windows deployment.

-- POLICY-BASED MANAGEMENT FOR ONGOING SAVINGS — ManageSoft smart agents transform desktops and laptops into self-managing smart devices that automatically adapt and self-heal in accordance with centrally defined policies.

ManageSoft Corporation has also released the latest version of it's category-leading software configuration management suite. ManageSoft 6.6 enables large organizations to automatically deploy, update, track, and report on software on desktops, servers, and mobile devices throughout a medium to large organization.

ManageSoft for Windows Deployment 2.0, and ManageSoft 6.6 are available from ManageSoft Corporation and resellers worldwide. ManageSoft Corporation is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner.