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ScriptLogic Corporation Simplifies Migration to Microsoft Windows Vista
ScriptLogic® Corporation (www.scriptlogic.com), a leading provider of systems lifecycle management solutions for Microsoft® Windows®-based networks, today announced the release of Desktop Authority® 7.6 and Desktop Authority MSI Studio™ 3.6, providing a proactive and simplified path for IT organizations to migrate to Microsoft Windows Vista. These new releases will empower customers planning for and involved in Vista migrations to maintain business operations, raise user productivity, and lower post-migration support costs.

ScriptLogic's Desktop Authority, used by thousands of companies to manage desktops from their initial deployment until they are decommissioned, centralizes desktop configurations and settings for all enterprise workstation users in one location -- eliminating the need for individual desktop customization and hand-coded logon scripts. IT administrators set configuration parameters based on a wide variety of end-user criteria, and those configurations are applied to desktops as desired. Desktop Authority is at the center of a rapid and effective Microsoft Windows Vista migration strategy -- customers simply add computers running Vista to the domain and all required customizations will be applied as the users log on. All of the user's personal customizations and preferences, network resource connections and other settings are automatically applied to the new Vista-based machine, making Vista desktops immediately usable and employees instantly productive.

"Deploying Vista will be one of our major IT initiatives this year and Desktop Authority will be invaluable in streamlining this process across the network," said Matt Johnson, systems administrator, Century Aluminum of Kentucky. "We rely on Desktop Authority for daily desktop management, including patch distribution and rolling out new program features and service packs. By virtue of being a Desktop Authority customer, we have prepared our IT infrastructure for a migration to Microsoft Vista. Our configurations are all centralized, thanks to the solution. When we ultimately migrate to Vista, without question it will be easy and require minimal time, thanks to Desktop Authority."

Desktop Authority's configuration tools capitalize on ScriptLogic's patented Validation Logic™, a granular technology which can customize and target desktop settings, applications and security based on the user's role, their workstation location and a host of other characteristics. In version 7.6, Validation Logic has been extended so that Desktop Authority can provide centralized management over new Vista features including:

--  User Access Control, to ensure compatibility with legacy applications
    and reduce end user training requirements while Vista is rolled-out,
--  Vista desktop management, to provide a consistent, standardized
    desktop environment,
--  Windows Firewall configuration, including control over Vista's new
    outbound firewall, and
--  IP v6, for desktop administration on cutting-edge network
    infrastructure.
    
Prior to IT professionals implementing Windows Vista, Desktop Authority's robust reporting tools can be used to examine vital data about an enterprise such as the hardware and software running on each of the desktops. These critical reports will help IT professionals determine which desktops are capable of running Vista.

ScriptLogic has also enhanced its Desktop Authority MSI Studio solution, which IT administrators use to create, edit and customize Microsoft installer (MSI) packages for pain-free software deployments. MSI Studio version 3.6 now works with Windows Vista and Windows Installer versions 3 and 4. The product takes advantage of new Windows Vista installer features, including restart manager, user account control and enhanced logging. As a result, customers can use Desktop Authority MSI Studio 3.6 to customize, simplify and manage the deployment of applications on machines running Microsoft Vista.

"As a Microsoft Certified Partner, it is essential that ScriptLogic updates our products to ensure that our customers can take advantage of Microsoft's latest solutions," said Andy Langsam, chief operating officer at ScriptLogic. "We surveyed many customers and found that over 40 percent plan on deploying Microsoft Windows Vista within a year of release. Our developers have enhanced Desktop Authority 7.6 to ease the migration and increase IT administrator productivity. Desktop Authority 7.6 makes the move to Vista faster by automatically applying desktop configurations on each upgraded machine, and Desktop Authority MSI Studio streamlines the process for deploying new applications on Vista machines."

ScriptLogic has authored a whitepaper, "The Proactive Migration to Windows Vista," detailing the best strategies for Microsoft Vista migration. Included are suggested third-party resources that eliminate roadblocks. For example, ScriptLogic notes tools available from Microsoft that check applications to be deployed and ensure their installation, configuration and security settings are compatible with the new operating system. Web users can download the whitepaper by visiting http://www.scriptlogic.com/vista/wp.

Management of Virtual Environments

Validation Logic enhancements in Desktop Authority 7.6 now provide for improved control of desktops running in a VMWare-based virtual environment by detecting whether a desktop is running on a physical or a VMWare virtual machine and applying the appropriate configuration. Many enterprises are investigating the cost efficiencies and security enhancements created by virtual desktops, either by running Windows inside a virtual machine on each desktop, or by hosting multiple virtual machines within a single server and remotely displaying each desktop on a thin client -- a platform referred to by VMWare as Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI). This practice places each Windows desktop session in a secure "virtual sandbox," and also allows for easy disaster recovery. At the same time, it presents new management challenges.

With enhancements to Desktop Authority 7.6, IT administrators can apply different settings to Windows sessions according to whether they are running in a physical or virtual environment. With one centralized, consistent policy across all desktops and physical/virtual systems, management costs are lower, migrations are faster, and users can freely move between workstations without consideration for the underlying operating environment.

"As the sole IT administrator for a school district, I depend on Desktop Authority to automate configuration of 250 machines, map printers and redirect folders," said David Woodard, technology coordinator, Crestline Exempted Village School District. "In the academic setting, we are excited about the potential for virtual desktops to better utilize our resources. The management of these desktops will be less daunting through the Desktop Authority interface, which I am already familiar with using."

Pricing and Availability

Desktop Authority 7.6, and Desktop Authority MSI Studio 3.6 are available immediately. A free 30-day evaluation of these products and all software solutions from ScriptLogic is available at www.scriptlogic.com. Desktop Authority is priced on a per-seat basis, and Desktop Authority MSI Studio is priced on a per-administrator basis. Volume discounts are available through ScriptLogic's global network of reseller partners. Desktop Authority and Desktop Authority MSI Studio customers with current maintenance agreements will receive a complimentary upgrade.

Published Tuesday, April 03, 2007 5:53 AM by David Marshall
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