The Microsoft Manufacturing User Group (MsMUG), Research Triangle Park, N.C., formerly a part of OMAC, is moving to a working group under the Automation Federation so that the group can better support the needs of the industry. MsMUG was formed in 1999 to address issues that arise when applying Microsoft technology in manufacturing. The group's mission is to define and resolve issues such as version management, system integration, maintenance, and supplier responsibility. MsMUG works to: develop best practices that will aid in the use of Microsoft operating systems in manufacturing environments; provide input to Microsoft on the special needs of this environment; encourage and influence software suppliers to support these best practices; and provide user input to the OPC Foundation on changes and improvements to OPC.

Three subgroups exist under MsMUG. MUGSecure is focused on increasing Windows operating system reliability and security by developing best practices for configuring Windows in a control system environment. MUGPatch concentrates on best practices for upgrade validation with OS patches, and MUGOPC concentrates on the expanding need to update user issues into OPC standards. For more information about MsMUG, visit www.msmug.org.

For more information about the Automation Federation, visit www.automationfederation.org.