Intel has launched its new vPro a new desktop platform for office desktop clients that aims to cut back management costs.

The new platform is centred around the Conroe dual core processor that is slated for release in the third quarter of 2006. Intel around the same time will include support for the Intel Active Management Technology into its chipsets, allowing for hardware based policy enforcement and remote management of systems. The company also touted its VT virtualization technology as a way to bolster system security.

There is a need for a business platform because the cost of supporting desktop systems relative to the cost of hardware has skyrocketed over time, Intel chief executive Paul Otellini Paul Otellini said at a company event in San Francisco.

“It’s time to reinvent the desktop,” he said.

The Intel Active Management Technology will enable IT administrators to further automate system maintenance and troubleshooting. Among things, it allows them to remotely boot up a system to allow patches to be applied at night, where that currently is typically done when workers boot up their systems in the morning.

The technology also enables IT departments to remotely reset systems that won’t boot up after a hard crash and will support existing management software from vendors including Computer Associates and HP.

Virtualization technology furthermore will enable a new level of security by creating a virtual compartment that is dedicated to security, creating a buffer between the internet and the user data on a system. The technology furthermore will be supported by third party security products from vendors including Symantec and Kaspersky.

“It’s a profound change in the way that a PC deals with how data comes into it,” Otellini said.

Conroe won’t be available until the next quarter, but enterprises can expect the first sample units later this quarter to allow users to start testing the new technologies. Intel touted several hardware manufacturers who will build vPro systems, including Dell, Lenovo and HP.

The vPro platform is similar to Centrino and Viiv platforms. Centrino informs consumers that they are buying an Intel powered mobile system that is optimized for wireless networking and Viiv focuses on entertainment systems. Qualifying systems will be identified by a special sticker.

The vPro technology will be extended to mobile systems by 2007, Otellini said.


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