Intel's vPro bundles a Core 2 Duo processor and the Intel Q35 chipset. It also introduces Intel's hardware-based Trusted Execution Technology (TXT), formerly known as 'LeGrande', which are embedded into the chipset.
The new version also introduces support for management standards such as WS-Man and Dash, in addition to an upgraded version of Intel's Active Management Technology.
By allowing IT administrators to remotely manage and maintain desktop systems, vPro dramatically reduces system maintenance costs.
Intel claimed at a press event in San Francisco that users in early pilots achieved a 94 per cent reduction in the time that it took to patch all their clients computers.
Support staff visits, user downtime and general software issues were reduced by 98 per cent.
Jim McGregor, a director covering semiconductors at analyst firm In-Stat, typified the new platform as an evolutionary step.
Companies are buying vPro systems, but it will take several years before all their systems support the technology, he argued. Only then will they be able to take full advantage of the management features and cost savings.
Intel runs the risk that technology standards change in the mean time. But by supporting multiple management standards, the firm is making sure that all its bases are covered.
"Even if five years from now we look back and notice that the industry just adapted to the Dash standard, at least Intel is out there with the hardware and software," McGregor noted.
AMD, by comparison, is focusing on supporting industry standards that at some point will allow it to offer functionaly similar to vPro.
Intel kept remarkably quiet at the press briefing about virtual management appliances that can run on a vPro system.
Such appliances run invisibly from the end user and can apply software updates to Windows, for instance, or protect against unpatched security flaws.
McGregor argued that the drought of management appliances will not hurt vPro's appeal with enterprises because most are not ready to start using them anyway.
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