Microsoft has signed off the final version of its Systems Management Server 2003 and released the code to software manufacturers.
The Redmond giant said that beta versions of the change and configuration management offering are already deployed in full production, managing 250,000 devices at more than 60 early adopter customer sites worldwide.
These early adopters and beta customers have reported cost savings, easier upgrades and "substantial" improvements in software distribution, reporting, scalability and performance, it added.
"We have worked closely with our customers throughout the development process," said Kirill Tatarinov, corporate vice president of the Enterprise Management Division at Microsoft.
Ronni Colville, research director at Gartner, said that tight integration between the directory, inventory and application distribution is quickly becoming a strategic component of configuration management.
"With the right software distribution tools and processes in place, married to appropriate staffing resources, enterprises can achieve quick return on investment for automation," she said.
The offering, which forms part of Microsoft's Dynamic Systems Initiative, will be formally unveiled at a launch event on 11 November.
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