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Intel unleashes vPro for next-generation desktops

Quoting IT Week

Intel has launched its vPro desktop platform, designed to boost performance and security while also improving power-efficiency and cutting management costs for IT departments.

The vPro desktop brand, analogous to Intel’s Centrino laptop platform, combines the firm’s Core 2 Duo processor with a 965 chipset and Gigabit Ethernet adapter. It also has an enhanced version of Intel’s Active Management Technology (AMT) and support for virtual appliances handling security.

“It’s a package of hardware and software solutions that are game-changing technology,” said Rick Skett, Intel’s group marketing director for Europe. “VPro offers unprecedented performance with proactive security, and addresses energy-efficiency concerns.”

Skett said that AMT alone could cut visits to staff desktops by 95 percent. The technology, embedded in the network adapter and chipset of vPro PCs, lets IT staff remotely manage systems even when switched off or if the operating system will not start.

Intel’s Virtualisation Technology (VT) is also used in vPro to enable security tools to operate in a separate partition from the operating system. This allows virtual appliances such as a firewall to filter incoming network packets and isolate Windows from attacks.

Intel said it is up to PC makers, software developers and integrators to build such virtual appliances for firms. “This virtual appliance OS is a new paradigm, a hardened zone that lets [partners] deliver a better solution,” said Intel engineer Howard Cooper.

Intel expects its new technologies will differentiate its platform from rivals such as AMD, but not everyone thinks this is necessarily good for customers. “Intel is going away from open standards and that’s a bad move,” said Jim McGregor of analyst firm In-Stat.

Intel said vPro systems should be available immediately. Dell, HP and Lenovo have already announced plans to ship vPro desktops.

With the Core 2 Duo chip delivering a 40 percent performance boost compared with high-end Pentiums, the new vPro platform is also ready for Microsoft’s forthcoming Windows Vista operating system, Intel said.

Read the original article, here.

Published Monday, September 11, 2006 6:56 AM by David Marshall
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