Microsoft Extends Virtualization Strategy – beyond Server ’08’s Hypervisor is something radical and SaaS desktop application oriented

Application VirtualizationMicrosoft also announced today the intent to acquire Softricity Inc. Softricity offers the SoftGrid Desktop Virtualization Platform, which turns almost all Windows applications into a service using application virtualization and streaming software technologies…. Applications are installed and managed centrally and then delivered directly to the user’s desktop in a contained, virtualized image that does not interfere with or require interaction with the operating system itself and other applications present on the desktop.In addition, the Softricity technology provides application streaming which should enable end-users to get access to the applications they need faster than ever before.

Microsoft Extends Virtualization Strategy, Outlines Product Road Map: Microsoft puts Windows Server virtualization and System Center Virtual Machine Manager on the fast track, and announces the intent to acquire Softricity Inc., a leader in application virtualization solutions within the virtualization space.

I’ve yet to hear much stir about this effort, but I’d plan for this vision to become a reality sometime as 2009 come closer.  The release of this is scheduled for Q3 ’08 or sometime this summer.  If you want to see it sooner consider the beta:  https://connect.microsoft.com/programdetails.aspx?ProgramDetailsID=1785

What does this mean to centrally install and manage an application and then stream it to a desktop?  It sounds like a Terminal Server on demand without all the fuss. Winni midway through the below video impromptu interview describes deploying via a USB drive to a factory located workstation that is completely not networked.  This could be quite dramatic and revolutionary.  I guess we’ll have to see how licensing prices out as well.  As it is curruently, this is an enterprise product; nevertheless, you can see the possibility of scaling this into a small businees and especially in certain markets such as banking, realty, and manufacturing to name a few.

Here’s a quote direct from Microsoft describing this product:

Microsoft Application Virtualization transforms applications into virtualized, network-available services resulting in dynamic delivery of software that is never installed, minimizes conflicts and reduces costly application compatibility testing. Users and their application environments are no longer machine-specific, and the machines themselves are no longer user-specific, enabling IT to be flexible and responsive to business needs, and significantly reducing the cost of PC management, including application and operating system (OS) migrations.

Formerly known as SoftGrid Application Virtualization, this is the first Microsoft-branded release of the product. It includes new capabilities designed to help IT support large-scale virtualization implementations across more sites and enable multiple delivery options; Globalization that lets users work in localized environments with localized applications; Dynamic Suite Composition which allows administrator-controlled virtual application combinations; and compliance with Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing and Secure by Default initiatives. This release also adds support for Windows Server 2008 32-bit Terminal Services (Microsoft Application Virtualization for Terminal Services only).

Microsoft Application Virtualization is an integral tool in the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack for Software Assurance solution, a dynamic desktop solution available to Software Assurance customers that helps reduce application deployment costs, enable delivery of applications as services, and better manage and control enterprise desktop environments.

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