Intel has launched a new hardware and software package for businesses looking to get the most out of their PCs. The company claims a 40 percent "average potential cost saving."

The vPro technology bundle is built into new PCs from Gateway and HP and claims to give IT managers better control over security threats, cost of ownership, resource allocation and asset management.

Early testers at BMW and ING have used the vPro bundle to save money on maintenance and labour costs by reducing the number of desk-side visits they had to make, to tune and repair employees' PCs, Intel claimed.

The chip giant hopes this bundle will duplicate the market success it had with the Centrino chipset for wireless laptops. The company's last effort to launch another bundle - the Viiv system for entertainment PCs - has not caught on.

The vPro system is based on Intel's new Core 2 Duo processor for desktops, combined with a Q965 Express chipset, 82566DM Gigabit Ethernet Network Connection, Active Management Technology (AMT) and Virtualization Technology (VT). It is available only on desktops today, but Intel has plans to push it to laptops in 2007 with a new Centrino platform codenamed "Santa Rosa."

Business customers can buy vPro-enabled desktops today from HP, which Wednesday added the capability to its dc7700, dc5700 and dc5750 models, or from Gateway.

Gateway will host the vPro bundle on its E-4610 desktop for $939.