Microsoft Enhances Desktop, Application Virtualization Offerings


Microsoft is expanding its desktop virtualization product line, adding a virtualization tool that lets users switch devices without reconfiguring applications or settings, and upgrading its flagship application virtualization software.

Public beta versions of both products were made available for download Wednesday and, in their final form, will ship as part of the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack, according to a blog posting by Karri Alexion-Tiernan, Microsoft director of product management for desktop virtualization.

The new User Experience Virtualization (UE-V) product allows individuals to change devices without reconfiguring applications or settings in Windows 7 or Windows 8, according to the blog.

[Related: Microsoft Ups The Ante In Its 'VMware Costs More' Campaign]

"By implementing UE-V, IT departments can enable a consistent experience for users who have multiple devices provided by their company or choose to bring their personal PC or tablet to work," Alexion-Tiernan wrote. "Now users can change their device and keep their experience without reconfiguring applications each time they log in to Windows 7 or Windows 8."

UE-V "enables a personal, consistent Windows experience across devices," Alexion-Tiernan added, regardless of whether the user is working with a "rich" desktop or hosted VDI desktop, a traditional application or a virtual one.

UE-V is integrated with other Microsoft desktop virtualization products and can be deployed using the vendor's System Center Configuration Manager, as well as third-party management tools.

The new release of the application virtualization software, Application Virtualization 5.0 (App-V 5.0), provides capabilities for connecting separately packaged App-V applications. That means virtualized and traditionally installed applications can communicate with each other.

App-V 5.0 also lets IT departments centrally store and manage applications and stream them to users as needed. The beta release supports Windows 7 and 8. And it offers a new Web-based management interface, based on Silverlight, that allows administrators to perform management tasks through a browser rather than being tied to a machine where the management console is installed.