Microsoft Opens Apps Virtualization Beta To Testers


Microsoft's Desktop Optimization Pack is a subscription offering for Software Assurance maintenance contract customers that wraps together technologies from recent Microsoft acquisitions, including application virtualization from Softricity, inventory services from AssetMetrix, group policy management from DesktopStandard, and recovery from Winternals.

In a Monday entry on Microsoft's Small Business Community Weblog, Eric Ligman, senior manager for small business community engagement at Microsoft, announced the opening of the public beta for Application Virtualization 4.5, previously known as SoftGrid Application Virtualization.

Testers can sign up for the beta on the Microsoft Connect Website, and the final version will be available through the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack and Terminal Services in the third quarter of 2008, Ligman wrote.

Application Virtualization 4.5 expands the scope and capacity of virtualization deployments, adding multiple delivery options, support for localized applications, and administrator-controlled virtual application interaction, wrote Ligman.

Sponsored post

Stephen Moss, COO of NSPI, a solution provider and MSP in Roswell, Ga., says application virtualization could make it possible to more rapidly deploy applications for customers from his firm's managed application hosting environment, in both dedicated and multi-tenant configurations.

"This would allow us to totally bypass the need for premise servers and services for SMB clients and accelerate the application deployment process," said Moss.

Microsoft has been offering additional benefits such as training to get customers interested in buying Software Assurance, but this hasn't been enough of a draw, says Michael Cocanower, president of solution provider ITSynergy, a Phoenix-based solution provider.

"In my opinion, the Desktop Optimization Pack is really the first tangible add-on value they've ever offered for SA," said Cocanower.

Microsoft also announced the availability of Asset Inventory Service 1.0, another new Desktop Optimization Pack release, which includes beefed up software inventory scanning and business intelligence features and is offered by Microsoft as a hosted service.

Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset 6.0, another new MDOP release, wipes malware from compromised PCs, unlocks Bitlocker encryption, and allows files to be pulled from USB devices. The software is now in public beta and is slated for release next spring.

At Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference in July, Microsoft unveiled Windows Partner Solutions, an enterprise focused offering that combines Vista Enterprise Edition with the Desktop Optimization Pack. At the event, Microsoft officials said the company has sold more than two million MDOP subscriptions since launching the program in January.