Microsoft scoops up asset-tracking firm

Buys Canada-based AssetMetrix, which helps businesses manage their fleet of PCs and software.

Microsoft has acquired Canadian asset-tracking company AssetMetrix as part of its continued expansion of its management software.

Founded in March 2000, AssetMetrix helps businesses manage their fleet of PCs and software. Felicity McGourty, director of product management in Microsoft's Windows and enterprise management division, said that AssetMetrix's technology will allow customers to get a better handle on their non-Microsoft software.

The deal was ; it was announced Wednesday at the Microsoft Management Summit in San Diego.

AssetMetrix CEO Jeff Campbell declined to discuss the terms of the deal but said he was pleased with it.

"I couldn't think of a better outcome for a company such as ours," Campbell said in a telephone interview.

Microsoft plans to incorporate some of the Ottawa-based company's technology into its forthcoming System Center Configuration Manager product, in particular AssetMetrix's technology for helping companies manage their software licenses.

The Canadian company has a library of hundreds of thousands of application signitures that can be used to generate reports on which software is being used in a company and how many copies are in use.

Microsoft is also working on an add-in that will offer similar capabilities to those using the existing SMS 2003 product. The company hopes to have that available in about nine months.

AssetMetrix's "couple dozen" employees will remain based in Ottawa, as Microsoft completes its integration plans for the company, Campbell said.

McGourty said the deal to acquire Asset Metrix is basically done, but awaiting final Canadian regulatory approval. "It's pretty much a formality," she said.

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