Microsoft: Roaming Boost In Second User Virtualization Beta

New UE-V features include the roaming between devices of the Start menu, taskbar and folders, group policy support, and the ability to transfer user settings between Internet Explorer 8, 9 and 10, said Karri Alexion-Tiernan, Microsoft director of product management for desktop virtualization, in a blog post.

UE-V -- which Microsoft used to call user state virtualization -- is the software giant's response to the bring-your-own-device craze. It uses virtualization to present a consistent Windows user experience spanning smartphones, tablets and PCs.

[Related: Role Reversal: VMware Now Raining On Microsoft's Virtualization Parade ]

"Devices -- and IT departments -- should support the reality that everyone has their own tastes and preferences when it comes to what applications they regularly use, where they use them, and how they customize their applications to make them more personal," Alexion-Tiernon said in the blog post.

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UE-V works with both Windows 7 and Windows 8, and it ships with the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack, a set of virtualization and management tools available only to volume licensing customers with Software Assurance agreements.

While roaming certain operating system settings will impact the Windows login process, Microsoft's testing has shown the delay to be less than one second, and users have control over which OS components they wish to roam, said Stephen Rose, community and social media manager for Microsoft's Windows team, in a separate blog post.

UE-V is Microsoft's entry in the fast-growing user virtualization space, currently populated by the likes of AppSense, RES Software and Liquidware Labs.