Bill Corrigan, former Vice President of Product Management & Marketing in Softricity before the Microsoft acquisition, and most recently Director of Product Management in the Windows and Enterprise Management Division, has joined Neocleus as Chief Marketing Officer.
App-V 4.5, formerly SoftGrid Application Virtualization, has hit “RTM” (Release To Manufacturing) status, which means that it will be available as part of the forthcoming MDOP 2008 R2 release in the next several weeks.
“App-V 4.5 is a big step forward towards making application virtualization a universally deployed desktop technology. Besides changing the name and making it the first Microsoft-branded release, we’ve included new capabilities that will help IT support large-scale virtualization implementations across many sites and provides multiple delivery options, including over-the-internet application delivery. Newly added support for eleven languages makes this a truly global release. Dynamic Suite Composition (DSC) provides administrator-controlled virtual application communication and interaction, and compliance with Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing and Secure by Default initiatives – two of our most important IT security programs – was also introduced in this release. A more detailed list of technical specifics is available on the App-V blog.
While App-V 4.5 is powerful by itself, great management unleashes its true potential. As I’ve said before, management is the killer app for virtualization, and it’s also the keystone of an Optimized Desktop infrastructure. With Microsoft management tools, you’re able to see a holistic view of your entire physical and virtual infrastructure which enables you to effectively manage resources and proactively prevent problems. This is why the release of System Center Configuration Manager (ConfigMgr) 2007 R2 and the System Center Operations Manager 2007 Management Pack for App-V 4.5 servers, and the App-V Group Policy Administrative template are so important. With these tools in hand, customers can natively integrate App-V 4.5 distribution and streaming technology into their Configuration Manager infrastructure, eliminating the need for separate tools to deploy, manage and track licenses for App-V 4.5 applications, and giving their IT departments the ability to more effectively control IT resources from a single location. Ask any IT administrator, and he or she will tell you that that’s an enormous time-saver and stress-reducer. For more technical details of how System Center and App-V work together to give IT admins easier control over their environment, visit the System Center Team Blog.
App-V 4.5 will also feature a new Service Providers License Agreement (SPLA), officially called Microsoft Application Virtualization 4.5 Hosting for Desktops, which will enable service providers to use App-V 4.5 to deliver third-party ISV developed applications to customers via the Software as a Service (SaaS) model. SaaS powered by App-V is a key enabler to closing the “digital divide” that exists between large enterprises with robust IT capabilities, and small businesses with limited resources. By outsourcing IT functions via service providers, small businesses are able to focus less on maintaining an IT infrastructure and more on growing their core businesses, which in turn allows them to compete more effectively in the marketplace. It’s an important opportunity for businesses to optimize their desktops, even if they lack the resources to build them out in-house.
New Licensing Changes Address Tomorrow’s Challenges
The Optimized Desktop isn’t just about addressing today’s challenges. To help give IT departments the flexibility to make their Optimized Desktop infrastructure ready for the next generation of users, we’re expanding the Vista Enterprise Centralized Desktop (VECD) license beyond VDI to provide additional flexibility for emerging use cases in the Enterprise. This proactive licensing change, which will take effect January 1st, 2009, will enable several nascent user scenarios:
· Employee owned machines: Traditionally, computers are purchased as company assets and distributed to employees based on job function. Some companies are trialing permitting users to buy the PC of their choice with a company stipend. The changes enable early-adopter companies to let users purchase with the PC of their choice, but still perform business tasks in a secure, standard Windows Vista desktop image running in a virtual machine. IT departments can enable this scenario via VECD for $110 per PC/year.
· Contract Workers: Companies can use VECD to deploy a standard, sandboxed, Windows Vista virtual machine for use on contractor machines for $110 per PC/yr. By enabling all workers, even contractors, to work with a standard image, companies can improve productivity and reduce IT headaches by enforcing application, security, and document standards.
· Desktop-based employees who occasionally from home: VECD also enables desktop-based workers to take a local copy of their Windows Vista virtual machine to any VECD covered Windows machine at work or to take it home. VECD permits this scenario for $23 per PC /year.
Microsoft + Partners = More flexible solutions for customers
Finally, it’s important to note that the Optimized Desktop concept isn’t just a Microsoft initiative. Rather, it’s something that our vast partner community is working towards as well. They know, as do we, that by working together, we’re able to provide the most flexible, complete desktop experience possible. That’s why I am proud that Citrix, one of Microsoft’s longest standing partners, will release a new version of Citrix® XenDesktop™ desktop virtualization solution that will integrate with Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 (SCVMM) for quick provisioning and intelligent placement of virtual machines, and enable Windows Vista desktops to run on Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V. This integration is another example of how Microsoft and Citrix partnering to provide server hosted desktops and providing users with deployment choice as part of an Optimized Desktop strategy.
You’re probably thinking to yourself “Wow! That’s a lot of news!”, and you’d be right! But if you step back just a bit, you’ll see the real picture come into focus. This isn’t a series of isolated announcements; it’s a unified set of important advancements that drive the value – and the promise – of an Optimized Desktop as part of our broader virtualization strategy from the desktop to the datacenter. With today’s announcements, and the announcements that you’ll see from us in the coming weeks, Microsoft is moving forward and delivering on its promise to provide customers with a suite of virtualization, management and licensing options that truly optimize their computing experience by delivering scenarios that strike the right balance of end-user flexibility and productivity and IT Pro management and control.”
[Source: All About Microsoft]
Microsoft Application Virtualization, the name the software giant has given the app virtualization solution it acquired when it bought Softricity back in 2006, got a new calling name today to match the Hyper-V branding: App-V (instead of SoftGrid).
From the SoftGrid App-V blog:
“Really it only matters to you because from now on we’re going to do our best to stop calling this product SoftGrid and start calling it App-V. Or Microsoft Application Virtualization if we’re feeling formal. This blog will eventually go from being the SoftGrid blog to the App-V blog, the SoftGrid forums will probably become the App-V forums, etc. and I want to make sure all of you are ahead of the curve just so there’s no confusion when you start seeing this name thrown around more and more over time.”
On a sidenote: looking for App-V references, we also found out a German snatched away the app-v.com domain name a few days ago.
Microsoft on Thursday said it has now sold 6.5 million licenses of its Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) client-level virtualization software, more than double the total of 3 million licenses that it had sold as of January.
MDOP, which is available only to customers that have volume Windows licenses and Software Assurance maintenance contract, offers a variety of technologies supporting desktop virtualization and application streaming.
Shanen Boettcher, Microsoft’s General Manager of Windows client product management for enterprise users, included the updated sales total for MDOP licenses in a (relayed) post on the software vendor’s Windows Vista blog. MDOP costs between $7 and $10 per license annually, according to Boettcher.
Boettcher also said in the blog post that Microsoft has completed its acquisition of Kidaro Technologies, which sells technology designed to make the desktop virtualization experience more invisible to end users and easier for IT to manage. Kidaro‘s technology is scheduled to be incorporated into MDOP by the first half of next year, with the combination getting a new name: Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization.
Boettcher said Microsoft has invested more than $400 million in developing MDOP and expanding it through acquisitions of virtualization vendors such as Kidaro and Softricity Inc.
Softricity hosted an interesting webcast with Brian Gammage, Gartner Research Vice President, about desktop virtualization:
Virtualization is widely regarded as the most important technology to hit the enterprise in decades. The potential benefits for the desktop are tremendous, with improvements in the manageability, security and flexibility of personal computing. By reducing complexity, virtualization promises to streamline support, accelerate deployments and reduce the cost of personal computing. But virtualization is occurring at more than one level; decoupling hardware, operating systems and applications. So, what are these different levels of virtualization technology and how are they being used by companies today? How mature is the technology? How does application virtualization differ from machine virtualization and what role does streaming technology play?
Join featured Gartner Research Vice President, Brian Gammage, a recognized expert in desktop virtualization, to learn what application virtualization and streaming really are, and how they can impact your approach to managing user access to enterprise applications.
See it here.
Thanks to Thincomputing.net for the news.