Hello everyone! We are incredibly excited to announce that after a long, tough road, Microsoft Application Virtualization is now ready for beta!!! This beta represents a lot of blood, sweat and tears by the team, but we believe it was well worth it to bring you a quality product and we think you will agree once you try the beta.
First things first, the beta is now available on Microsoft Connect. Make sure to sign in with your Microsoft Windows Live ID and then click on “Available Connections” in the left pane. You will see “Application Virtualization 4.5 Public Beta” in the list. Click “Apply” to arrive at the Microsoft Application Virtualization welcome page (if requested, please complete the registration information). At this point, click on the “Downloads” link in the left pane and you will see the Public Beta download.
One thing to notice right off the bat is that we have renamed the product from Microsoft SoftGrid Application Virtualization to simply Microsoft Application Virtualization. Since this is the first Microsoft branded release, we wanted to ensure we gave it a strictly descriptive name and capture the “term of art” in this market, which is Application Virtualization.
So besides the name change, what else is in the beta? Well, it includes new capabilities that make it easier for enterprise IT organizations to support large-scale, global application virtualization implementations.
Microsoft Application Virtualization 4.5 allows the flexibility to control virtual application interaction. Administrators wanting to consolidate virtual environments, and enable faster, easier administration, can use the product’s Dynamic Suite Composition, which sequences and manages packages for middleware applications separately from the main application. It shrinks potential package size by eliminating redundant packaging of middleware, allowing, for instance, multiple web applications to communicate with the same single instance of a virtualized .NET Framework or Java Runtime Environment (JRE).
Updates for the common virtual middleware are simplified as well as one virtual application is updated instead of several. This “many-to-one” capability greatly reduces the cost of updates. It also makes it easier to deploy and manage applications with multiple plug-ins and add-ins, and improves management of plug-in distribution to different user groups.
Choose among three flexible deployment scenarios:
1) System Center Application Virtualization Management Server, which ships as part of the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack and Microsoft Application Virtualization for Terminal Services packages, enables dynamic streaming including package/active upgrades, and requires Active Directory and SQL Server;
2) System Center Application Virtualization Streaming Server, a lightweight version which also ships as part of the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack and Microsoft Application Virtualization for Terminal Services packages, offers application streaming including package/active upgrades without the Active Directory and database overheads, and enables administrators to deploy to existing servers or add streaming to Electronic Software Delivery (ESD) systems. Note: ESD integration is not supported for the Beta release.
3) Standalone mode allows virtual application execution without streaming and is interoperable with Microsoft Systems Management Server/System Center Configuration Manger 2007 and third-party ESD systems.
New features that enhance manageability include improved diagnostics and error reporting on the client and server; auto-load options; and support for Microsoft Update for the client, server and virtualized applications (sequencing time only). This release also adds support for Windows Server 2008 32-bit Terminal Services (Microsoft Application Virtualization for Terminal Services only).
Support for packaging non-English language applications (except for complex script languages) has been introduced. Also supports non-English language Active Directory, servers and clients.
Microsoft Security Standards
Microsoft Application Virtualization 4.5 is the first release to follow the Microsoft Security Development Lifecycle. It includes support for internet-facing scenarios and provides Secure by Default configuration out of the box.
For more information, please visit the What’s New in Microsoft Application Virtualization site.
Thank you for your continued interest in Microsoft Application Virtualization! We think you are going to be just as excited as we are once you have a chance to check out the beta.
– The Microsoft Application Virtualization (formerly SoftGrid) team