Microsoft will release its long-awaited desktop management software in November at a conference in Denmark.
The software will be released to manufacturing sometime between September and then, and will be formally released Nov. 11 at the Microsoft IT Forum 2003 in Copenhagen, according to Microsoft.
The ship date for Systems Management Server 2003, which was previously code-named Topaz, has slipped before. The software was originally due out this summer, but it was held in trial longer so Microsoft could tweak some problems that users had complained about. Microsoft executives then said SMS 2003 would ship in September.
Customers have given thumbs up about the latest version of SMS 2003 in general, though those who are on older versions of Microsoft platforms don't get the same functionality as those on the newer versions. Release Candidate 1 was made available July 1, and apparently Microsoft ran into some issues the company wants to isolate and fix, one expert said.
The delay is not terribly important to SMS experts, who said they would rather see a quality product in the end. "We would rather them hold [SMS 2003] than release another [SMS] 2.0-like RTM," said Larry Duncan, a Nashville, Tenn.-based systems management consultant.
Customers agree. "SMS 2000 is working well enough for us so we're not worried about [the delay]," said Arch Willingham, vice president of T.U. Parks Construction, Chattanooga, Tenn.
Over time, Microsoft plans to merge its three manageability platforms, SMS 2003, Microsoft Operations Manager 2004 and Application Center, into a suite of products, and eventually into one integrated platform called System Center. System Center isn't due to appear until sometime around 2006 or beyond.