Microsoft Blasts Barriers To Windows 7 Adoption

On Monday, Microsoft launched App-V 4.6, the latest version of its application virtualization offering, which adds support for 64-bit Windows client and server platforms and enables virtual applications to be deployed in Microsoft Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), terminal services, and local desktop scenarios. Microsoft acquired the technology that powers App-V in its June 2006 acquisition of Softricity.

Gavriella Schuster, Microsoft senior director of Windows product management, believes the flexibility of App-V 4.6 will help speed migration to Windows 7 and Office 2010, the latter of which is slated for launch by June. App-V 4.6 also works well for mobile workers that need to access applications while on the road, as Microsoft has improved the delivery mechanism that allows virtual applications to be streamed over the Internet, Schuster said in an interview.

App-V 4.6 was developed in close collaboration with the Office 2010 team, and this has enabled Microsoft to hammer out the kinks that have existed in the past when running virtualized instances of Office applications. "Office 2010 now works seamlessly as a virtual application," Schuster said.

Microsoft on Monday also unveiled the release candidate for Med-V Service Pack 1, which uses desktop virtualization technology gained from its March 2008 acquisition of Kidaro, and said it plans to release it to manufacturing in April. Med-V, the enterprise version of Windows XP mode, provides a compatibility bridge to applications that can't run natively in Windows 7 or that require Internet Explorer 6.

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Schuster says Microsoft has served up 2.5 million downloads of XP Mode to date, but on the enterprise side, Med-V's lack of support for IE6 has been a barrier to Windows 7 deployment.

Both App-V 4.5 and Med-V are part of Microsoft's Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP), a bundle of tools that includes desktop and application virtualization, inventory services, System Center desktop error monitoring and group policy management technologies, and is only available as part of a Software Assurance subscription.

Microsoft has licensed over 25 million enterprise seats for MDOP to date, and existing customers can now download MDOP 2010 through the Microsoft Volume Licensing Site (MVLS). Interested testers can kick the tires on MDOP 2010 by downloading a trial version from MSDNM or TechNet.