Intel announces vPro business platform

As expected, Intel officially announced its new business platform today. Dubbed vPro, the brand allows Intel to market a number of existing technologies under a single brand that promises heightened security, increased manageability, energy efficiency, and lower costs. vPro machines will feature a Core-based processor, support for Intel's Active Management (AMT) and Virtualization (VT) technologies, and will combine with "industry-enabled software solutions" to offer "superior manageability and strengthened security." In other words, no new products, just a big PR push to catch the eye of IT managers and corporate heads.

That's not to say the technologies themselves are unimpressive, however: AMT enables remote administration of machines independently from the operating system, allowing troubleshooting and maintenance even when a computer is off or failing. As for VT, it allows machines to split up hardware resources into "partitions," allowing different operating systems to run simultaneously without emulation. Intel is advertising this as a security and management tool, claiming that VT can be used to create a "dedicated, tamper-resistant service environment ... where particular tasks or activities can run independently, invisible to and isolated from PC users."

Intel says AMT and VT will show up in the first vPro machines "later this year," perhaps following the expected third quarter release of the first Core-based Conroe processors. Previous rumors suggested that Intel would also introduce Pentium D-based vPro systems, but it looks like the company is ruling that out by specifically advertising Core as the "heart" of the new platform.

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