HP and Dell have given the thumbs up to the latest version of Altiris backup software, Recovery Solution 5.7.

HP will now put the new version as standard on all HP Compaq business desktops and notebooks. And Dell will offer the software for free on the majority of its desktops, workstations and notebooks. A spokesman for Altiris refused to give any details of the deals struck with HP and Dell however.

Interestingly, neither company is offering the software on their servers, despite the fact that this is the main innovation in Altiris' new version. It does however have a big advantage for notebooks through a new option to backup to a protected area of the local disk, rather than need to be connected to the system.

Altiris sees its extension into local backup and server backup as offering an all-in-one system for an entire company, protecting it from accidental deletions, hardware failure and damage caused by viruses.

Version 5.7 also offers for the first time: support for open and locked files; a new bandwidth monitoring system to prevent slow-connection users from being effectively cut off by backup traffic; and new Spanish, Portuguese and Japanese versions.

Needless to say, HP, Dell and Altiris execs had nothing but wonderful things to say about each other and the backup software.

"The HP and Altiris relationship continues to grow through the development of solutions that help our customers better manage and reduce the cost of owning their IT resources," said Tad Bodeman, HP's software marketing director. He goes on: "Leading-edge HP hardware technology combined with HP/Altiris client management tools provide customers with a total managed platform that minimises the cost of owning client computers, allowing them to focus on the success of their business."

Cockles are further warmed with Dell worldwide marketing director Indraj Gill: "The Altiris Recovery Solution is a critical addition to Dell's systems management portfolio, and will help customers to both improve business continuity and reduce ongoing hardware management costs."

And the love-in wouldn't be complete without Altiris VP of marketing and product strategy, Poul Nielsen. "With increasing numbers of laptops and mobile workers in the enterprise, a large majority of corporate data exists at the fringe of the corporate network. Viruses, theft, hardware and software problems, and human error continually compromise the business continuity of knowledge workers. HP customers can now leverage Altiris Recovery Solution technology to offset this threat."

And: "We are pleased that Dell has selected Altiris Recovery Solution to extend Dell OpenManage Client Administrator. This integrated offering provides Dell customers with leading backup and disaster recovery technology to offset the continual threat of viruses, theft, hardware and software failure, and human error."

So there you have it.