VMware Enters the App Virtualization Arena with ThinApp 4
VMware application virtualization offering ThinApp 4 reduces application conflict and speeds the cycle of application deployment while boasting lower overhead than full-blown desktop virtualization approaches. However, VMware's maiden app virtualization voyage hits some stormy patches.VMware's ThinApp 4, the first version to ship since VMware acquired Thinstall in January 2008, can, if properly configured, make life easier for IT administrators by easing Windows software conflicts through the magic of application virtualization. Where desktop virtualization involves hosting entire desktops, from virtual hardware straight through to operating systems and applications, products such as ThinApp eliminate application conflicts in Windows systems by isolating application files and registry settings on standard Windows clients. As a result, application virtualization is better distributed and more offline-friendly than centralized, server-hosted desktop virtualization, and requires less overhead than do locally run, PC-based desktop virtualization solutions.
VMware ThinApp and competitive products, including the beta version of Microsoft Application Virtualization 4.5 and Altiris SVS (Software Virtualization Solution), differ significantly from regular application packaging tools in that they can stream an application package to a sandbox that they create on the end-user system so that the application executes without interfering with other programs that may already be installed.