SAN DIEGO -- Microsoft on Wednesday said it acquired AssetMetrix and will add its hosted asset management capabilities into Systems Management Server within the next nine months.The announcement came on the second day of Microsoft\u2019s annual Management Summit. AssetMetrix runs a hosted service that inventories more than 250 hardware features such as CPU and RAM and catalogs more than 300,000 applications, including version numbers and licensing information. Microsoft plans to use the AssetMetrix catalog technology to supply data to System Center Configuration Manager 2007 (formerly called Systems Management Server v4).\u201cAssetMetrix turns inventory into a statement of assets making it more intelligent and connected to the business,\u201d says Kirill Tatarinov, corporate vice president in the Windows and enterprise management division at Microsoft.During his keynote address, Tatarinov showed how customers can integrate their Microsoft Licensing Statements, which details all the software they have licensed from Microsoft, with inventory data to ensure the software they are running is legal. Tatarinov said the goal was not to get Microsoft into the asset management market but to couple the asset data with the capabilities of System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) 2007, which has basic asset management features.Tatarinov said Microsoft would continue to run AssetMetrix as a hosted service, joining other hosting companies Microsoft has purchased such as FrontBridge for e-mail hygiene and Placeware for Web conferencing.Data from the hosted AssetMetrix service can be integrated with today\u2019s versions of SMS, according to Tatarinov. He also said the catalog technology, which includes an agent that collects data from desktops and servers, will be integrated with SMS in the next six to nine months. Microsoft plans to release an \u201cout-of-band\u201d product that works on top of SCCM 2007.Terms of the AssetMetrix acquisition were not announced.Tatarinov also laid out the roadmap for Microsoft\u2019s management products over the next 18 months, including the first two products to integrate Microsoft\u2019s management modeling technology called Systems Definition Model (SDM): System Center Operations Manager 2007 (formerly called Microsoft Operations Manager v3) and System Center Configuration Manager 2007.The first public beta of SCOM 2007 will ship in late May or early June. The final release will ship before the end of the year.Systems Management Server 2003 R2 will ship in the next couple of month, while its successor Systems Center Configuration Manager 2007 will ship in 2007.Also in 2007, Microsoft plans to ship two products it introduced on Tuesday, System Center \u201cCarmine,\u201d which manages virtual images on a host machine, and System Center Service Desk, a process workflow engine that ties together Microsoft\u2019s range of management products.Microsoft also plans to ship in 2007 Systems Center Operations Manager 2007 R2, which will connect SCOM 2007, Service Desk and the next version of Systems Center Capacity Planner, which is being renamed Systems Center Capacity Manager.