October 14th, 2010 News Thursday: System Center Configuration Manager R3 released, Wipro partners with Citrix and Microsoft… and more Server and Tools news.

Microsoft releases System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R3

Today Microsoft announced the release and availability of System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R3. Organizations of all sizes use System Center Configuration Manager for better insight and control of their servers, PCs and devices across physical, virtual and distributed environments. Now, R3 brings a complete set of power management tools for Green IT, enabling customers to centrally manage PC power setting and to reduce energy consumption and costs. Configuration Manager R3 also provides the licenses for mobile device management, so administrators can run comprehensive asset inventories, deploy software, manage settings and enforce password policies for Windows phones.

Just like Configuration Manager R2, R3 will be the foundation for the upcoming Forefront Endpoint Protection 2010. By bringing endpoint security into overall endpoint management, customers can cut administration costs and inefficiencies, and also improve security and compliance.

The core capabilities in System Center Configuration Manager R3 are extended by offerings from our partners like 1E, whose NightWatchman software extends administrative flexibility, user empowerment and advanced reporting to provide a best of breed power management solution for PCs. For instance, according to 1E, by using these technologies Ford will save over $1.2 million dollars and reduce their carbon footprint by 16,000-25,000metric tons annually.  To learn more about our partner alliances, go here.

For more information read the System Center Nexus blog post. Customers will be able to download the evaluation software here later today at about 2 p.m. Pacific.

Affordable Web hosting solutions through the new Microsoft Web Hosting Gallery

The new Microsoft Web Hosting Gallery is a marketplace where anyone who wants to host their sites or applications on the Web can find offers that address their needs. The gallery already contains hundreds of hosting offers from around the globe that cover common hosting scenarios, running on the latest Windows Server technologies. To make it easy for customers to find the right offer, the gallery includes the ability to search based on a variety of criteria including technology features; price; support policies, and more. Beyond being on popular Microsoft developer Web sites such as Microsoft.com and ASP.NET, the galley is also integrated with the WebMatrix development tool and will be included in a future version of Visual Studio. If you are a hosting provider, the gallery is the right place to post your offers. If you are a customer who looks for an affordable Web hosting solution powered by the latest Microsoft technology, visit the Web Hosting Gallery today.

For more information please visit http://www.microsoft.com/web/hosting.

Web Matrix Beta 2 available now

Last week Microsoft released WebMatrix beta 2. The Microsoft Web Platform, which includes the Web Application Gallery, Web Platform Installer and WebMatrix, is designed to provide developers of all skill sets with what they need to build and run websites and applications on Windows. The beta 2 of WebMatrix has a number of time saving shortcuts. Learn more on Microsoft’s Web Platform blog. Customers can download the beta today.

Microsoft, Citrix and Wipro announce collaboration to deliver Desktop-as-a-Service

Global service provider Wipro Technologies, Citrix Systems and Microsoft announced a new initiative to deliver an integrated Wipro Desktop-as-a-Service solution that uses Citrix and Microsoft desktop virtualization technologies. The solution is based on Citrix XenDesktop and incorporates the Microsoft VDI Premium Suite, which includes Microsoft Virtual Desktop Infrastructure and management software that customers use to virtualize, manage, stream and remotely display applications and deliver desktops remotely. The Wipro solution is currently available for beta customers, and will be generally available in the first quarter of 2011. Pricing and licensing will be disclosed at the time of availability. For more information see the Wipro press release.

Customers JUSTPROUD and Ravenflow find success with the Windows Azure platform

JUSTPROUD is a unique, online fashion initiative that encourages participation from those in the fashion industry and produces limited-quantity merchandise that is developed for, and by, the JUSTPROUD member community. When developing JUSTPROUD, the founders wanted a solution that offered better scalability than what services, such as Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, could provide. JUSTPROUD chose the Windows Azure platform for its compute and storage needs, including Microsoft SQL Azure and the Windows Azure Content Delivery Network. As a result, JUSTPROUD achieved the scalability it required, avoided up-front capital expenditures of $442,166 and reduced operating costs —all while delivering high levels of application performance to its globally dispersed customers. More information is available here.

Ravenflow is a Microsoft Certified Partner that uses its patented natural language technology, RAVEN, to help business analysts transform and deliver projects faster and at less cost. After evaluating Google App Engine and Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, Ravenflow chose the Windows Azure platform to quickly create a scalable new service: RAVEN Cloud. The service is already popular and has opened new business opportunities for the company. Ravenflow looks forward to a fast time-to-market for future enhancements. More information is available here.