Microsoft has updated its desktop virtualisation tools with a new product that delivers the same desktop experience no matter which endpoint a user logs in with, as well as an overhaul of its App-V application virtualisation tool.
Available now as public betas, User Experience Virtualisation (UE-V) and App-V 5.0 will ship as part of the Microsoft Desktop Optimisation Pack (MDOP) when finalised, the company said.
UE-V is a user state virtualisation tool that separates the configuration settings for each user's desktop environment from Windows itself, so that workers can get a consistent experience no matter which system or device they use to log in. It integrates with Microsoft's desktop virtualisation products.
"By implementing UE-V, IT departments can enable a consistent experience for users who have multiple devices provided by their company or choose to bring their personal PC or tablet to work," explained Karri Alexion-Tiernan, director of Product Management for Desktop Virtualisation at Microsoft.
"Now users can change their device and keep their experience without reconfiguring applications each time they log in to Windows 7 or Windows 8."
However, the move shows that Microsoft is increasingly taking virtual desktops seriously.
Meanwhile, the App-V 5.0 beta takes application virtualisation to the next level, according to Microsoft, enabling virtual apps to work more like traditionally installed software than ever before.
Enhancements in this release are aimed at making application virtualisation more efficient when used with virtual desktop deployments.
App-V allows applications to be packaged up so they can be delivered on-demand from a virtual application server.
With earlier releases, App-V stores a local copy of the application for use offline, but this scenario is unnecessary for virtual desktops running inside a datacentre, so App-V 5.0 lets IT departments turn off local application storage, saving on disk storage requirements.
The App-V 5.0 beta supports Windows 8, according to Microsoft, so that it integrates with features such as Windows To Go.
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