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TechEd Showcases SQL, SharePoint Tools; Plus, Gates Hands Reins to Ozzie

From the business wires this week: mobile SQL Server monitor/manager, storage management solution, and Bill Gates' new role at Microsoft.

In case you haven't stumbled across one of the thousands of reports about Bill Gates' big announcement yesterday...you know where this is going: Yes, Microsoft's chief software architect will retire in 2008, but he'll immediately hand over his job role and duties to CTO Ray Ozzie. He will instead focus on doling out the money he's made with the world's biggest software maker via the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the charitable organization he founded with wife Melinda.

Not that it comes as much of a surprise. Some suspected it would happen soon, including Doug Barney, editor in chief of our sister publication, Redmond magazine.

If you've gathered yourself from that shocker, Microsoft made some other announcements, though not as sensational. The company's Learning division made live the Microsoft Certified Architect program, its high-level, board-reviewed certification for experienced IT professionals, and revamped its Office Specialist title, incorporating coverage of Office 2007 and Windows Vista.

For all you admins, don't forget that last Tuesday was Patch Tuesday. Microsoft released 12 patches, eight of which it rated as "critical," affecting Internet Explorer, Word, PowerPoint, Windows Media Player and Windows itself. (Did I forget anything?)

Microsoft also released the beta of Systems Center Operations Manager 2007, the child of Microsoft Operations Manager 2005. Also in beta is the Systems Management Server 2003 Operating System Deployment Feature Pack update, which adds support for the 64-bit versions of Windows XP and Windows Vista.

Now, let's look at some key product announcements that came out of last week's TechEd confab in Boston:

Idera announced the release of SQL Mobile Manager 2.4, software that enables database admins to securely monitor and manage SQL Server via a Windows Mobile Device. New features allow for viewing of all SQL Server instances, enhanced password requirements, customized user access and control, and a log of security events.

Idera also released SQLsafe 3.1, which can back up and recover compressed and encrypted SQL Server databases. It integrates with the company's SQLschedule, to provide management and scheduling of backup jobs. http://www.idera.com

The latest version of CommVault's QiNetix StorageManager (QSM) now features support for Microsoft SharePoint. Version 6.1 also helps admins manage application and file system data in primary storage for heterogeneous storage environments, including installations running Novell NetWare, Linux and UNIX. http://www.commvault.com

And finally, Altiris Inc. says it has worked to implement exclusive integration of Wise Package Studio with Altiris Software Virtualization Solution (SVS). What this means is that Wise Package Studio 7 now supports the creation, editing and management of virtual software packages, and existing .MSI files can now be virtualized for activation on SVS-enabled machines. Altiris will include 50 full licenses of SVS with each copy of Wise Package Studio Professional or Wise Package Studio Suite. http://www.altiris.com

About the Author

Dan Hong is the associate Web editor of MCPmag.com, CertCities.com, TCPmag.com, Redmondmag.com and RCPmag.com.

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