Intel launches vPro business bundle

Intel launched its vPro technology bundle for business desktops on Thursday, built into new PCs from Gateway and HP.

Intel Thursday launched its vPro technology bundle for business desktops built into new PCs from Hewlett-Packard (HP).

A desktop with the vPro package of hardware and software will give IT managers better control over security threats, cost of ownership, resource allocation and asset management, said Robert Crooke, vice president and general manager of Intel's business client group.

Early testers at BMW AG and ING Groep NV have used the vPro bundle to save money on PC maintenance and labor costs by reducing the number of desk-side visits they had to make to tune and repair employees' PCs, Intel said.

Intel, which has watched its profits drop in recent quarters and on Tuesday announced it would lay off 10,500 employees by the middle of 2007, hopes this bundle will duplicate the market success it had with the Centrino technology bundle for wireless laptops. The company's last effort to launch another bundle -- the Viiv system for entertainment PCs -- has not caught on with consumers.

The vPro system is based on Intel's new Core 2 Duo processor for desktops, combined with a Q965 Express chipset, 82566DM Gigabit Ethernet Network Connection, Active Management Technology (AMT) and Virtualization Technology (VT). The bundle is available only on desktops today, but Intel plans to roll it out to laptops in 2007 with a new Centrino platform code-named "Santa Rosa."

Business customers can buy vPro-enabled desktops today from HP, which Wednesday added the capability to its dc7700, dc5700 and dc5750 models, or from Gateway.

Gateway will host the vPro bundle on its E-4610 desktop, a PC that is designed to meet both the manageability needs of enterprise-level IT departments and the performance needs of small and medium businesses. Gateway is selling the E-4610 for US$939, as fitted with Intel's E6300 Core 2 Duo processor, 512M bytes memory, an 80G byte hard drive, and Microsoft's Windows XP Pro OS.

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