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SMS 2003 Released to Manufacturing

Microsoft on Wednesday released Systems Management Server 2003 to manufacturing, clearing the way for a formal launch of the product at an IT show in Europe next month. Microsoft also released pricing and made a 120-day evaluation edition available.

SMS 2003, Microsoft's enterprise change and configuration management toolset, replaces the four-year-old SMS 2.0. Key enhancements to SMS 2003 include simplified application deployment, improved asset management, new security patch management, mobile support for laptops and tighter integration with Windows Management Services.

Estimated retail pricing for Systems Management Server 2003 with 10 device client access licenses is $1,219. The ERP for the server with 25 CALs is $1,909. Additional CALs cost $297 for five or $1,089 for 20.

Microsoft has ended the requirement for customers to buy separate SMS server licenses for SMS Secondary Site servers. SMS 2003 will run on Windows 2000 or 2003 servers. A licensed copy of SQL Server 7.0 or SQL Server 2000 is required for each SMS 2003 Primary Site server.

The registration site for the 120-day evaluation edition is here.

With such a long development cycle, SMS 2003 has a large base of beta customers. Microsoft claims 60 early adopter customers are managing 250,000 devices with SMS 2003 already.

The formal launch will happen Nov. 11 at Microsoft IT Forum in Copenhagen, Denmark.

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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