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Network announcements

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Last Modified: 2012-08-14
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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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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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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