Apple continues the process of adding functionality from its pre-OS
X operating system, this time with the release of the Apple Remote Desktop, a
product that harkens back to products like the Apple Network
Adminstrator and the Macintosh Manager.
Apple Remote Desktop allows for remote administration, monitoring,
and management of computers running Mac OS 8.1 through 9.2 or Mac OS X
10.1 or later. The management console it provides is available for
Mac OS X 10.1 or later.
The main function of the software involves remote control of a
desktop or laptop Macintosh, similar in approach to Microsoft’s Remote
Desktop software, which comes bundled with Windows XP Professional.
The software also allows for management and auditing of software
(which Apple touts as a way to enforce anti-piracy policies), and
provides for remote monitoring of a collection of computers, which the
company says will prove useful for schools where labs with dozens of
computers are deployed. In addition, Apple says common tasks such as
hard drive maintenance, renaming computers, and startup/shutdown are
also supported by the remote interface.
A 10-client edition of the software sells for $299, while an
“unlimited” version that can support up to 5000 clients (managed in
groups of 250) sells for $499.