Microsoft Corp. has made a big move into the network management space, but one analyst said the company’s newest software platform is still a work-in-progress.

The Redmond, Wash. software giant revealed Microsoft System Center at the Microsoft Management Summit late last month in San Diego. The product package features upgraded applications such as Operations Manager 2007 and Configuration Manager 2007. Older products, including Data Protection Manager 2006 and Capacity Planner 2006, are included in the package, with an entirely new product coded ‘Service Desk’ due for release sometime in early 2008. Microsoft said System Center addresses the company’s goal of meeting its long-term Dynamic Systems Initiative (DSI). An effort to assist network managers in meeting growing IT demands while keeping costs down, Microsoft said System Center features a number of changes centred on the DSI strategy, including a new software language called Service Modeling Language (SML).

Operations Manager 2007, an upgraded version of Microsoft Operations Manager, now features increased automation of procedures such as auditing and network compliance. Configuration Manager 2007 offers image-based deployment of operating