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Network announcements

We are looking for a tool, free would be ideal  :), which can allow us to send network annoucements to the computers on our network from the IT Department.

We have seen several tools with good price tags, but on a limited budget, want to be able to issue alerts centrallly to around 500 clients on 150 different subnets.  However, I do not want the users to be able to use this as an IM tool as I am sure it will be mis-used immediately.

All of our computers are currently Windows XP SP3, but are introducing Windows 7 very slowly.  Servers are a mix of 2003 and 2008 versions.

What tools can be recommended for this?

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CaringIT
Asked:
CaringIT
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CaringITAuthor Commented:
I've just llooked at a Windows 7 PC and this does not have the SEND option with NET any more, plus sending from our server reports none of the user IDs tested work (It cannot find the alias).
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Darr247Commented:
The Messenger Service is required to be running for NET SEND to work.
That's disabled by default since XP SP1, if I recall correctly (in server 2003, too).

Business versions of Vista, Win7 and Server 2008 should have MSG.EXE - from a CMD window, run
MSG /?

I'm not certain it comes with Server 2003, but it should run on that, too.

For XP, a (DWORD) key named AllowRemoteRPC may need to be created at
HKLM\System\Current Controlset\Control\Terminal Server
and (or if it already exists) set to 1.

MSG.EXE should not require the Messenger Service to be running anywhere, though I think it might rely on Terminal Services.
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CaringITAuthor Commented:
Tried this on several computers and does not send to others.  The Windows 7 machine cannot find the usernames we enter, while the server only sends to itself.

There must be a GUI tool that will link with AD to help with this I am hoping.
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