My personal view is the Database Maintenance Plan wizard is an easy way of performing common mainstream administration. Full and transaction log backups are mainstream. Differential backups are important, but the requirement for this type of backup is much less common.
Your options are to create the backup command either manually (BACKUP DATABASE ... WITH DIFFERENTIAL) or through the SQL Server Backup Dialog (right click a database, All Tasks -> Backup Database) and schedule backup command using the SQL Agent. However you are right, you will have to do the file management yourself.
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This was first published in May 2003