Software Assurance provides organizations with additional capabilities to enhance security, manageability, and flexibility. Two key benefits of SA include access to Windows Enterprise, which provides capabilities including Device Guard and Credential Guard, as well as the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP).
With the upcoming Windows 10 Anniversary Update, we’re reducing the effort of deploying two of the most popular components of MDOP – Application Virtualization (App-V) and User Environment Virtualization (UE-V) — by including them in the Windows Enterprise and Education editions instead of requiring a separate download and deployment. They will also be included in-box in Windows Server 2016 Standard and Datacenter. If your organization is currently running App-V or UE-V on Windows 10 Professional or earlier and plan to upgrade to the Windows 10 Anniversary release, you will need to deploy the Enterprise edition to use App-V and UE-V on those devices.
By including these components in the operating system itself, you will not have to take additional steps to deploy and maintain them outside the general Windows deployment and update process. Future updates to App-V and UE-V will be delivered as part of general Windows updates and will not require any separate administrative steps.
What does this mean for you?
If you are using App-V or UE-V, you already have access to Windows Enterprise or Education. Both Windows Enterprise and MDOP, which includes App-V and UE-V, are benefits you have through Software Assurance. Most organizations who have Software Assurance are already using Windows Enterprise, so there are no extra steps or costs required.
If you are using Windows Professional, when you upgrade to the Windows 10 Anniversary Update and your organization uses App-V and UE-V for management functionality, you will need to upgrade to the Enterprise or Education edition. Direct upgrades to the Pro SKU will result in App-V and UE-V binaries to be removed during the OS migration process.
Deployment and configuration tools are consolidated into a single location. The UE-V Template Generator and App-V Sequencer will be available as part of Windows 10 Assessment and Deployment Kit (ADK).
The functionality of App-V and UE-V shipping inside Windows 10 Anniversary Update are the same as the current “out-of-box” versions supporting earlier version of Windows, which shipped in MDOP 2015 – App-V 5.1 and UE-V 2.1 Service Pack 1. All other components of MDOP remain available for Windows 10 Anniversary Update from the MDOP 2015 installation media, and their supportability on each version SKU does not change; however, future enhancements to App-V and UE-V will only be available for the Windows 10 Anniversary Update or later.
The current App-V Management Server, available on the MDOP 2015 installation media, will support the Windows 10 Anniversary Update. It does NOT ship within Windows 10 Anniversary Update nor Windows Server 2016.
We’re excited about the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, and the inclusion of App-V and UE-V into Windows Enterprise and Education editions will help make it easier to get more value of your Software Assurance investment.