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Major update to Apple Remote Desktop in development

Rumor has it that a new version of Apple Computer's remote desktop management software will boast over a dozen major feature enhancements including true drag-and-drop copy support and Spotlight search integration.

The new version, expected to be released as Apple Remote Desktop 3.0 sometime later this year, is being developed to leverage Apple's Spotlight search technology and allow administrators to perform user specific searches on client systems running a version of the company's Mac OS X 10.4 "Tiger" operating system, tipsters say.

Major advancements in file copying are also in store, including precise drag-and-drop copy support between administrative computers and remote clients. Tipsters say a new copy engine with support for 64-bit file sizes will let administrators limit copy bandwidth, encrypt transfers and define user and group permissions for file copies.

Another feature expected to delight users of Apple Remote Desktop 3.0 is network copy and paste, which should grant administrators true copy and paste functionality between a local system and remote clients. Meanwhile, an administrative "Curtain Mode" will optionally block a client's view of the desktop while an administrator is controlling the system.

It's further rumored that Apple Remote Desktop 3.0 will introduce an auto-install feature that will let administrators prepare software install packages for mobile systems that may be offline from time to time. Tipsters claim the feature will be capable of detecting when the mobile systems return to the network and then subsequently perform the software installs.

Other features expected to garner attention in the upcoming release include new reporting features that detail client login accesses and application usage, AES-128 bit encryption, a task history list, and improved Directory Services support.

Additionally, tipsters says Apple Remote Desktop 3.0 will come wrapped in a redesigned interface reminiscent of the company's Mail 2.0 application and feature added support for Kerberos, AppleScript, and smart computer lists.

It's unclear precisely where the software lies in its development cycle or when it's scheduled for release. The last major update to Apple Remote Desktop came in June of 2004 when Apple introduced version 2.0 with over 50 new management features.