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Microsoft Bags Desktop Management Outfit

Microsoft  today said it has acquired DesktopStandard, which makes software for delegating operating-system policies on distributed, Windows-based desktops.

The Portsmouth, N.H., company's management software will fortify Microsoft's Group Policy Management Console (GPMC), a tool issued with Windows Server 2003 that manages operating system settings for multiple computers on a network.

The deal, for which financial terms were not disclosed, joins highly complementary software products from both companies.

Larry Orecklin, general manager of Microsoft's Windows Enterprise Management Division, said in a statement that DesktopStandard's software is already integrated with Microsoft's group policy provisions.

"This acquisition enhances our ability to meet customers' needs to perform group policy lifecycle management, consolidate the number of policy objects being managed, and increase management ...."

Microsoft competes with CA  , BMC  , HP  and others in the multi-billion-dollar market for desktop management software.

The buy is the latest in a spree of small purchases from Microsoft this year to pad existing software portfolios, including security appliance maker Whale Communications Ltd. and Windows utilities maker Winternals.

DesktopStandard CTO and co-founder Eric Voskuil will join Microsoft as a software architect in the Windows Enterprise Management Division.

DesktopStandard will operate as a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft while DesktopStandard's technology is moved to Microsoft.

Customers can still purchase DesktopStandard's GPOVault, ProfileMaker, PolicyMaker Standard Edition and Share Manager, and Microsoft said it will continue to support customers according to existing agreements.

However, Microsoft is not acquiring the PolicyMaker Application Security business; this software will be sold by security software BeyondTrust Corporation, which was spun off from DesktopStandard today.