Microsoft Management Summit: Two Trends Worth Watching

No, Microsoft hasn't acquired or launched a managed services platform. But the software giant continues to push deeper into the IT management market. In fact, Microsoft this week is hosting an IT management summit in Las Vegas.

Here are two key highlights from the event.

1. Beyond Windows: Microsoft is finally introducing cross-platform tools that manage Windows, Linux and Unix servers. The product's name may not roll of your tongue (it's called "System Center Operations Manager 2007 Cross-Platform Extensions Beta"). But I certainly wonder if this tool will eventually find its way into the managed services market.

2. NAA (Not Another Acronym): The tech world certainly doesn't need another acronym. But MDOP (Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack) is catching on. MDOP includes five tools: application virtualization, asset inventory services, group policy management, diagnostics and recovery toolset, and desktop error monitoring.

Those capabilities certainly apply to the MSP market, but the tools are actually designed for internal IT managers to optimize their own companies' systems. At least that's how MDOP tools currently are positioned.

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