Intel plans Centrino Pro for business notebooks

The chipmaker's vPro PC management technology is set to make its debut in notebooks over the next few months.

Brands are colliding over at Intel, with the company's decision to call its notebook management technology Centrino Pro.

Intel revealed plans to import the vPro desktop PC management technologies into notebooks last month, and plans to announce the official moniker on Wednesday. IT managers who select notebooks with the Centrino Pro sticker will find a few features designed to make it easier to manage those notebooks.

The vPro platform brand was the third in a series that began with Centrino and Viiv. The brands denote a collection of technologies including a processor, chipset, networking chips and software that are designed for specific areas, such as the digital home with Viiv .

For example, IT shops will now be able to upload configuration changes to notebooks and support virtualization technologies with the movement of vPro into the notebook world. However, managing notebooks is still a harder task than keeping tabs on a fleet of desktops that never leave a cubicle.

One of the most promoted features of vPro is Intel's Active Management Technology, which allows IT managers to send patches or software updates to PCs that are connected to a network, but turned off. That's no problem when a notebook is in its docking station, but notebooks on wireless networks will have trouble maintaining VPN (virtual private network) connections with the power off.

The Centrino Pro notebooks will start arriving later in the second quarter as part of Intel's Santa Rosa update . Those notebooks will come with the first generation of vPro technology introduced last year; they will not feature the additional security technologies introduced with the second generation of the product last month.

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