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As IT Departments and PC Users Do More With Less, IBM Launches Two New ThinkVantage Technologies to Ease the Pain


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LAS VEGAS, NV - 17 Nov 2003: In anticipation of continuing pressure on Chief Information Officers, Information Technology departments and individual PC users to increase productivity without increasing resources, IBM today enhanced its line of ThinkVantage Technologies with new tools designed to simplify two time-consuming issues: security and data migration.

"Customers, analysts and the marketplace are telling us that reducing the cost and complexity of PC ownership is critical," says Deepak Advani, vice president of marketing, IBM Personal Computing Division. "Users want to focus on what is truly productive. Small business owners don't want to spend time trying to figure out how to escape from the 'blue screen of death' -- they want to manage their business. Accountants don't want to spend hours fixing a PC problem with the help desk -- they want to improve financial efficiency. That's what ThinkVantage Technologies help them do."

IBM announced the first-ever Software Developer's Kit for its Embedded Security Subsystem, which the company expects to increase the number of third-party software applications taking advantage of its security chip. This downloadable developers' kit is free and available immediately. And IBM also announced Version 4.1 of System Migration Assistant, which helps move end-user data and settings for application and network connections from one PC to another. One of IBM's most popular ThinkVantage Technologies, SMA 4.1 now provides more flexibility and ease with new peer-to-peer options for migrating data, enables the user to define the size or characteristics of files to migrate, and now helps migrate a more extensive list of settings for the most popular applications.

Since announcing ThinkVantage Technologies in November 2003, IBM is now offering its second and third generation of solutions addressing problems with security, data migration, and wireless. IBM created nearly all these tools to help PCs manage and diagnose their own problems, so users can focus on something else.

Security
"IBM leadership in PC security couldn't have come at a better time," says Advani. "Virus attacks increased in frequency and sophistication in 2003, and identity theft and other forms of online fraud are now persistent threats. Hackers used to do this for fun. Now they see it as a way to make money. That's why we've shipped more than six million notebooks and desktops with embedded security since we pioneered it in 1999." Applications from Adobe, Checkpoint, 3Com, VeriSign, Microsoft, RSA, Entrust, and Cisco announced their compatibility with the IBM Embedded Security Subsystem in 2003.

Interest in writing software applications to take advantage of IBM client security from a broad range of developers in 2003 led to today's Software Developer's Kit announcement. Developers can now use a point-and-click interface to add hardware-based security to their software applications, including the ability to authenticate user identity, strengthen and store passwords, and store important information securely. And Client Security Software Version 5.2, announced today with the new Software Developer's Kit, is designed for easier interaction with software applications, such as multiple log-on windows.

In addition, IBM announced the ThinkPad Active Protection System in 2003, becoming the only PC company to offer a form of "airbag protection" for data and applications on notebooks.

Migration
In 2003 IBM announced new generations of Rapid Restore Ultra and ImageUltra Builder. Rapid Restore Ultra 3.0 helps users recover from software failures by allowing them to revert back to a previously saved version of their data, applications, e-mail and settings. This helps IT departments shorten or eliminate telephone calls to the PC Help Desk, and helps reduce the need for in-person deskside support. Rapid Restore Ultra now offers multiple options for customized backups, including easy backup to a portable IBM hard drive.

ImageUltra Builder is a software toolkit that helps IT departments perform their own software image management. Enlarging on the success of ImageUltra Services performed by IBM, ImageUltra Builder 2.0 helps minimize the number of software images managed by IT departments, often eliminates the need for multiple images for multiple hardware platforms, and reduces the time and resources required to perform image compatibility hardware testing.

Wireless
IBM has maintained wireless leadership in a year marked by rapid changes in technologies, including WiFi 802.11a, 802.11b, and 802.11g wireless standards. IBM now offers the latest generation of Access Connections, a software utility that helps people manage the broad array of network connections available and automatically determine the fastest LAN connection, wired or wireless. In addition, all wireless models of the ThinkPad R50, T41 and X31 now feature enhanced wireless security as defined by the Wi-Fi Protected Access (WPA) and Cisco Compatible Extensions (CCX) programs, providing improved wireless data security for organizations of all sizes. The Cisco Compatible Extensions program ensures Cisco-tested compatibility with Cisco wireless Access Points. Access Connections Version 2.7 now helps IT administrators create connection profiles and distribute them to users throughout a network, making them more uniform, secure, and easier to support. In addition, the combination of IBM wireless leadership and the IBM Embedded Security Subsystem makes ThinkPad the most secure wireless notebooks in the industry.

For more information about IBM ThinkVantage Technologies, see www.pc.ibm.com/us/think.

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IBM, ThinkPad, and ThinkVantage Technologies are trademarks or registered trademarks of IBM.

Contact(s) information

Bob Page
IBM Media Relations
(919) 486-0930
rpage@us.ibm.com