With Windows NT 5.0 delayed yet again, Microsoft is to offer a key component of the operating system ahead of its release.
Zero Administration for Windows (ZAW), a feature of the forthcoming NT 5.0, will be available as an add-on for the current version of NT within the next three months.
Users will be able to download the Zero Administration Kit for Windows NT Workstation 4.0 (ZAK) free from the company's Web site at http://www.
microsoft.com/windows/zak/. An on-line demonstration of ZAK is available at the site today.
NT 5.0 isn't expected to go into beta until the third quarter of 1997 at the earliest, a year later than originally promised. Microsoft said it was offering the add-on in response to customer feedback and not because NT 5.0 is late. Anne Mitchard, marketing manager of the personal systems group at Microsoft UK, said: "The Kit allows an IT manager to lock desktops and prevent the type of end-user operations that result in help-desk calls."
ZAK provides a suite of tools designed to reduce the cost of PC ownership by restricting the ability of users to manage their own machines. The kit offers centralised administration of the desktop and prohibits users from installing applications or manipulating data on their local hard disks. Nick McGrath, product manager for Windows NT Workstation at Microsoft UK, said: "(Through ZAK) administrators will have the ability to say what users can and cannot do on their local PCs."
The kit includes an automated setup program which allows for unattended client installations.
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