Microsoft has unveiled a suite of server tools aimed at simplifying IT migration and management, Bill Gates announced at the start of Microsoft's IT Forum in Copenhagen.
The software forms part of the firm's Common Engineering Roadmap, which attempts to provide a common set of services for all Windows Server System products.
The launch includes newly developed server tools, improved access to software through Microsoft's TechNet programme, and the expansion into Europe of Culminis, an IT user group sponsored by Microsoft.
"The distributed nature of computing makes it challenging for customers to manage the cost and complexity of their technology investments," said Gates.
Virtual Server 2005 and the Virtual Server migration kit will allow system administrators and developers to test legacy applications and network strategies in simulation before acting.
The latest version of Microsoft Operations Manager (2005) was also unveiled today. Future server management packs will be built around the tool which provides event and performance monitoring for server systems.
Two feature packs for Microsoft's Systems Management Server are also being released. These are designed to allow improved device management and easier imaging of client systems by system administrators.
Microsoft has improved its TechNet service for developers with TechNet Plus 2.0. This is a monthly software delivery which contains updates, utilities and testing tools for IT professionals.
Gates also announced that the not-for-profit Microsoft user support group Culminis will be expanding into Europe and offering free membership until the end of the year.
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