Microsoft unveils desktop virtualization tool

Microsoft has released the first version of its desktop virtualization tool. Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V) 1.0 is not available as a stand-alone product but is one of six applications in the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP).

MED-V helps information technology pros upgrade the Windows OS without interrupting the flow of business. According to Microsoft, the benefits of MED-V 1.0 include:

  • Central creation, deployment and updating of PC configurations enterprisewide.
  • Provisioning of virtual images and user policies by business affiliation and requirements.
  • Faster OS upgrades.
  • Simplified integration by allowing two IT environments to run concurrently.

Most organizations will use MED-V to run older applications on a newer Windows operating system. Those applications and OS become a virtualized desktop.

"MED-V bridges the application compatibility gap between current versions of Windows and legacy Windows-based applications by allowing enterprises to move desktops completely to newer versions of Windows," wrote Steve Thomas, senior support escalation engineer at Microsoft, in a team blog.

Desktop virtualization isn't the same as application virtualization. Desktop virtualization addresses the incompatibility between an application and the operating system. By contrast, application virtualization deals with the incompatibility between two applications. It lets both of them run on the same operating system in virtualized runtime environments. Microsoft has included its Application Virtualization tool in the MDOP.

To get the MDOP 2009 suite with MED-V 1.0, users must have a Software Assurance license. Subscribers to Microsoft TechNet or Microsoft Developer Network can evaluate MED-V 1.0, along with Software Assurance licensees. Microsoft volume licensees can get the software here.

About the Author

Jim Barthold is a freelance writer based in Delanco, N.J. covering a variety of technology subjects.

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