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Microsoft Acquires FSLogix In Move To Extend Office 365 Virtualization Capabilities

The acquisition follows the launch of Windows Virtual Desktop in September, meeting the growing demand for desktop virtualization services on the Azure cloud platform.

Microsoft has acquired FSLogix, a developer of application provisioning technology for virtualized workspaces, in a move that's expected to further extend the virtualization capabilities of the Microsoft 365 system.

The acquisition comes just two months after Microsoft debuted Windows Virtual Desktop, a virtualized Windows and Office service on the Azure cloud platform.

FSLogix is a next-generation, application provisioning platform that reduces the resources, time and labor required to support virtualization. The system enhances the customer experience and productivity while reducing support requirements for IT departments, according to a blog post attributed to Brad Anderson, corporate vice president of Microsoft 365, and Julia White, Microsoft Azure corporate vice president.

[Related: Microsoft Scores Five-Year Cloud Services Deal With Retailer Gap]

Microsoft 365 is a bundle of the vendor's Office 365 personal productivity applications, Windows 10 and Enterprise Mobility + Security. Microsoft Office applications are among the most commonly virtualized applications, according to the vendor.

That was a driver behind the September launch of Windows Virtual Desktop, which makes it possible to quickly deploy and scale Windows and Office on Azure with built-in security and compliance. The cloud-based Windows Virtual Desktop provides a multi-user Windows 10 service optimized for Office 365 ProPlus.

The addition of the FSLogix software will enable faster load times for user profiles in Outlook and OneDrive, improving the performance of Office 365 ProPlus within multi-user virtual environments – including Windows Virtual Desktop, according to Microsoft.

"I think this is a great move by Microsoft and really helps partners that have decided to focus on Microsoft, in delivering a world class experience for end users no matter how they are accessing their data," said Jim Banach, practice group lead – workplace, at New Signature, a prominent Microsoft channel partner, in an email to CRN.

"Many regulated industries such as finance and healthcare often have requirements in place that require the use of desktop virtualization and remote desktop services. However, those same technologies have often led to a less-than-optimal experience when using cloud-first technologies such as Exchange Online and OneDrive for Business. By bringing an enterprise solution such as FSLogix in as part of the Microsoft family, it will help partners working to implement Microsoft 365-based solutions provide a best-in-class solution for even more of our customers," Banach said.

Prior to the acquisition FSLogix, founded in 2012 and based in Suwanee, Ga., was a Microsoft silver partner. The company is also a Citrix Ready partner and a member of VMware's Technology Alliance program.

Microsoft did not disclose the price of the acquisition or say anything about specific plans for the FSLogix company or its employees.

"Although it’s still business as usual, FSLogix will soon integrate with Microsoft and join the strength of its enterprise productivity solutions and global reach," said FSLogix founder and CTO Randy Cook in a blog post.

"Both FSLogix and Microsoft are dedicated to providing the absolute best experience for companies choosing to deploy virtual desktops," Cook wrote. "Microsoft strongly reinforced this goal with their recent announcement around Windows Virtual Desktop to provide the best virtualized Windows and Office experience delivered on Microsoft Azure. We know our team can play a key role in making this happen."

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