Microsoft announced on Wednesday that it has acquired Kidaro, a young company that helps businesses manage their collection of virtual machines. The financial details involved in the acquisition of the startup, which counts 35 employees, remained undisclosed, although Valleywag is calling it around $ 100 million.
According to CNET’s Ina Fried, Microsoft said the technology will make it easier for businesses to manage application compatibility challenges, ultimately spurring faster Vista adoption as well as broadening the use of virtual machines within enterprises.
“The challenge we have with Virtual PC today is it doesn’t have enterprise-level management and deployment with it and the user experience could be improved,” said Gavriella Schuster, a senior director in Microsoft’s Windows unit.
Schuster said that Kidaro’s technology helps on both scores. In addition to tools for setting up and managing virtual machines, Kidaro has technology that makes virtual machines less jarring for users, making them appear to be part of the standard desktop.
Kidaro’s technology will be added to a future version of Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack. The collection of tools is sold as an add-on to Microsoft’s Software Assurance program for volume license customers. Other things in the collection include an application virtualization technology known as SoftGrid and asset management tools that stem from Microsoft’s AssetMetrix acquisition.
While perhaps not a mainstream way for businesses to move to Vista, Schuster said Microsoft thinks some companies will find it more palatable with Kidaro’s tools to run older, Vista incompatible applications via a Windows XP virtual machine.
Update – from the Windows Virtualization Team Blog:
I’m told that the three founders of Kidaro will be joining Microsoft and play similar roles here, and that the plan is to keep Kidaro’s R&D team in Israel. That makes sense since Microsoft already has an R&D center in Israel.
So if you’re keeping track, this acquisition is roughly 45 days after we announced the acquisition of Calista Technologies.