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Intel revamps the help desk

Intel may have the answer to every administrator's worst nightmare: manually configuring each desktop on a corporate network.

Intel may have the answer to every administrator's worst nightmare: manually configuring each desktop on a corporate network.

At a forum in New York on September 24, Intel (INTC) executives will demonstrate a new member of the LANDesk LAN management product suite that can configure desktops from a remote location.

The hardware and software product can maintain a copy of configurations and send them over the network to each desktop that needs it. Configurations can include the operating system, client files, hardware drivers, and applications, among other items.

The product will be released before the end of the year and will integrate with the rest of the LANDesk suite, including shared databases. Desktops only need a Intel Service Agent to use the new configuration product.

The hardware component of the technology is a PC-sized box with a microprocessor running Microsoft Windows NT and LANDesk applications.

An administrator can manage desktop configurations with the box and the software's easy-to-use templates with predetermined configurations.

"It's simpler, it's faster, and it makes your staff more efficient," said Dan Eichelberger, Intel's business unit manager for management products.

Eichelberger said there will be two phases to the product, which does not yet have a name or pricing. First, the product will be used as a software deployment tool. Eventually, Intel hopes to provide the same functionality as a set of software services running over Windows NT.

Intel's focus on PC configuration is all part of cohesive effort by industry heavyweights to keep the cost of owning a PC down, a major complaint of the IT community.