Microsoft Releases Two Virtualization Applications for Business

Microsoft released App-V 4.6 and MED-V 1.0 SP1 Release Candidate, two offerings designed to help businesses leverage virtualization to stream and host proprietary applications for workers, on Feb. 22. Both App-V 4.6 and MED-V 1.0 will conceivably give IT administrators the ability to plot out their virtualization strategy even as they prepare for Office 2010 and, in some cases, upgrade their office IT infrastructure to Windows 7. MED-V 1.0 lets applications that require Internet Explorer 6 or else are unable to run with Windows 7 operate in a managed virtual desktop environment.

Microsoft released two business-centric virtualization applications-App-V 4.6 and MED-V 1.0 SP1 Release Candidate, designed to help the enterprise and SMBs better integrate proprietary applications into their evolving IT infrastructure-on Feb. 22. Specifically, App-V 4.6 is the next generation of Microsoft's application virtualization product, extending 64-bit support to streaming applications for business users; MED-V 1.0 SP1 RC is an enterprise desktop product that allows applications that require Internet Explorer 6 or else are insupportable on Windows 7 to be run in a managed virtual desktop environment.

This latest push comes as Microsoft is gearing up to release Office 2010, one of the flagship elements of what it regards as its next-generation productivity offerings. Although MED-V is still in release-candidate stage, both it and App-V 4.6 will give IT administrators the ability to plot their office's virtualization strategy for 2010 and beyond.

"New technologies like App-V and MED-V (both included in Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack [MDOP] 2010) combined with System Center Configuration Manager provide new ways to package, deliver and manage locally installed and virtual applications in ways previously inconceivable," Gavriella Schuster, Microsoft's general manager of Windows Commercial Product Management, wrote in a draft of a blog posting distributed to journalists ahead of the two applications' release announcement.

"These along with other technologies and best practices form Application Optimization," Schuster continued, "a term we use to describe a holistic approach to managing your application portfolio, [enabling] testing and mitigating compatibility issues, packaging applications easily for faster delivery to the user, and managing applications pivoted on the user and not the device."

This more-modular virtualization technology, in other words, gives increased flexibility for IT administrators looking to scale and distribute offerings to workers even as they upgrade their existing software stack to Windows 7 and Office 2010.

App-V 4.6 can be downloaded as part of MDOP 2010 at the Microsoft Volume Licensing Site (MVLS) for existing MDOP customers. (MDOP 2010 can be downloaded from MSDN and TechNet.) The MED-V 1.0 SP1 Release Candidate can be downloaded here.