The new DAZ Install Manager (DIM) has been announced in the Platinum Club newsletter and the Daz3D forums as well. While it seems to have no meaning or impact for Carrara users, other than smoother content installation, it actually shows the way forward for Carrara.
With the DIM, the new SmartContent tab in Carrara 8.5 becomes independent of Daz Studio 4.5, which currently is needed to initialize all newly installed content by first running Daz Studio and then Carrara.
When the DIM has been released, Daz Studio will only be needed to install the Content Management Service (CMS), then you can choose to un-install Daz Studio and never look back. The CMS stays behind since it has its own uninstaller.

Daz has confirmed that there are plans to fix the final issue of having to install Daz Studio to access the CMS, which can be interpreted as a confirmation of the plan to move forward to a future of a stand-alone Carrara 8.5 release.

A quote from Daz_Spooky in the Carrara forums at

A while back I stated 8.5 couldn’t really be considered ready until you didn’t need DAZ Studio to populate the database.
If you use Poser/DAZ Studio Content in Carrara, then Install manager will populate the database, and therefore your smart content tab, for new content installed without opening DAZ Studio.
You will still need to install DAZ Studio to install the Content Management Service but that is also on the list. Once you have and are using Install manager, if you don’t want DAZ Studio on your machine, you can install it, it will install the Content Management Service, then promptly uninstall DS, and it will leave the Content Management Service installed (by design, you have to specifically run the separate uninstaller for the Content Management Service to remove it).
More coming, that I can’t yet talk about.

Here is a video that shows the DIM in action:

DAZ Install Manager – New to 3D Content (for Windows users)

DAZ Install Manager – Add to Current System (for Windows users)

There are also videos for mac users posted on the channel:

Some more info in this Forum thread:

Also, DAZ has plans for an announcement about Carrara in February, stay tuned for more info…

UPDATE 2013-02-05: The DAZ Install Manager has just been released as a beta for Platinum Club members, got a newsletter with a 25% rebate coupon too.
Over 10 000 products are supported, but Carrara is not included in the first beta release

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