Application optimization and management vendors F5 Networks and Mercury Interactive separately announced products to work with Microsoft tools.F5 announced that its iControl software, which allows administrators to remotely configure and manage F5's IP Application Switches, will be offered as an integrated product bundle for Microsoft Operations Manager (MOM) 2005. IControl will be available in the summer, when MOM 2005 is scheduled to ship.This bundle will feature F5's BIG-IP Application Switch product that integrates iControl with MOM 2005 for network device monitoring, management and control. F5 officials say the combination will help IT professionals gain a unified view of both networks and the applications that depend on network performance and availability, such as enterprise, mobile and Web services applications.Also, the product set will reduce management complexity, F5 says, by automatically resolving application alerts at the network layer."As more and more businesses deploy mission-critical applications across the Microsoft Windows environment, users expect high performance, security and availability from these applications," Dan Matte, F5 vice president of product management and marketing, said in a statement.F5 says its Simple Object Application Protocol-based iControl architecture enables developers to create "application-aware" networks that provide communications between the applications and network to offer a proactive approach at managing performance. The software does this by intercepting, inspecting and directing application and Web services requests, based on values found in packet headers or payloads.F5 is a member of the Microsoft Management Alliance.\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0Mercury Interactive announced last week its intention to support Microsoft Visual Studio 2005, the next version of Microsoft's developer platforms and tools. Mercury develops the Mercury Quality and Performance Centers suites of software products that help customers test the quality and performance of Microsoft .Net Framework-based applications and Web services. Mercury LoadRunner software emulates real-world load conditions in .Net Framework-based applications and Web services to ensure they will meet the demands of the business prior to deployment.