The company said Beta 2 of Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) 2004 became available Monday to testers. The upgrade to MOM offers new tools Microsoft said will help system administrators more easily track and resolve problems, as well as an improved user interface for the software's main console. The software is part of Microsoft's broader program to make Windows networks more manageable, an effort known as the .
The company has two main management software programs: MOM and Systems Management Server (SMS). SMS is aimed at allowing large companies to distribute software updates and patches automatically to PCs over corporate networks. MOM, meanwhile, is for monitoring the ongoing status of a network to avoid problems such as an overloaded server or a dropped network connection.
Microsoft said the test version is available to all of the company's customers, whether or not they use a current version of Operations Manager.
The final version of MOM 2004 is slated for release next summer, Microsoft said.