ThinApp Continues to Push Windows 7 Upgrade

By Cameron Sturdevant  |  Posted 2010-05-04 Print this article Print

VMware ThinApp 4.5 supports 32-bit and 64-bit Windows operating systems, including Windows 7. It also offers secure registry journaling protection and support for large .MSI packages.

VMware ThinApp 4.5 has added support for 32-bit and 64-bit Windows systems and made other modest improvements that make it worthy of consideration by IT administrators who want to ease migration to Windows 7, while still using applications that are certified for Windows XP, Vista or an earlier version of Windows.

While VMware ThinApp 4.5 is not radically different from its predecessor, the package format did change-in part to enable large .MSI (Microsoft Installer) files-and IT managers will need to convert applications that were prepared with the earlier ThinApp 4.0 version with a simple-to-use utility. ThinApp 4.5 isolates applications from the underlying operating system that reduces application conflict, while enabling a speed-up in the application deployment process by eliminating full-blown regression testing for applications that are already approved on older Windows operating systems.

The product has gained polish since I reviewed ThinApp 4.0 in late 2008, after the product was acquired by VMware. What hasn't changed is the price: ThinApp is still $5,000 and is also available in a bundle with VMware View Premier for $250 per concurrent user. ThinApp 4.5 became available on March 17. 

ThinApp 4.5 and competitive products-including Microsoft's App-V and Symantec's Workspace Virtualization (formerly Altiris SVS)-differ from standard application packaging tools because they can stream an application package to a sandbox that is created on the target desktop system where the application executes without interfering with other programs that are already installed.

ThinApp performed its core application virtualization chores effectively, using an efficient application packaging mechanism and distribution system that make virtualized applications available to end users from a variety of traditional software distribution mechanisms, including tools that distribute an .MSI to a file share or from inside a VMware View environment. I used a file share in my tests to distribute Microsoft Word 2003 and 2007, WinZip and large (greater than 3GB) components that are part of Adobe's newly released Creative Suite 5 Master Collection.

Cameron Sturdevant Cameron Sturdevant is the executive editor of Enterprise Networking Planet. Prior to ENP, Cameron was technical analyst at PCWeek Labs, starting in 1997. Cameron finished up as the eWEEK Labs Technical Director in 2012. Before his extensive labs tenure Cameron paid his IT dues working in technical support and sales engineering at a software publishing firm . Cameron also spent two years with a database development firm, integrating applications with mainframe legacy programs. Cameron's areas of expertise include virtual and physical IT infrastructure, cloud computing, enterprise networking and mobility. In addition to reviews, Cameron has covered monolithic enterprise management systems throughout their lifecycles, providing the eWEEK reader with all-important history and context. Cameron takes special care in cultivating his IT manager contacts, to ensure that his analysis is grounded in real-world concern. Follow Cameron on Twitter at csturdevant, or reach him by email at

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