Microsoft will offer SoftGrid in January 2007 through Software Assurance

Quoting from the Microsoft official announcement:

…Microsoft announced it will offer a set of software tools designed to take the sting out today’s biggest pain points that enterprises deal with when deploying and managing applications and desktops. The Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack for Software Assurance marries four different tools:

  • Microsoft SoftGrid “virtualizes” applications, meaning they can run on multiple PCs and other licensed desktops running Microsoft Windows without being locally installed. Instead, they run as individual networked services, enabling central deployment and management, minimizing compatibility problems and providing employees more ways to access applications
  • Microsoft Asset Inventory Services is designed to analyze all programs on employee PCs, and provide the most current, accurate inventory
  • Microsoft Advanced Group Policy Management increases control over Group Policy Objects (GPOs) – the component rules within Windows’ administrative management system – and is intended to allow IT administrators to delegate or assign administrative control of specific tasks based on employees’ titles or roles
  • Microsoft Diagnostic and Recovery Toolset makes it possible for the IT department to quickly pinpoint the causes of PC troubles, recover lost data and prevent future downtime with post-crash analysis

Beginning in January 2007, Microsoft plans to offer the optimization pack worldwide as an add-on subscription for companies with Software Assurance agreements. Customers with Open Value, Select, Enterprise Agreement (EA), EA Subscription and Campus and School agreements can subscribe through volume licensing, for an estimated retail price of US$10 a year per desktop…

While the product changed name in Microsoft SoftGrid, it still has to be completely integrated in Microsoft solutions portfolio, probably inside an R2 edition of System Center Configuration Manager 2007 (formerly System Management Server or SMS).