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Microsoft Gets Real About the Virtual

The RedmondMag article describes how the Softricity acquisition fills in Microsoft's virtualization portfolio.  Not only does it bring in an application virtualization engine into their lineup, but it shores up the company's overall strategic positioning within the virtualization space, differentiating itself further from VMware and Xen.

Quoting from RedmondMag.com

"The Softricity deal is important in two or three different areas. One, it expands Microsoft's overall virtualization portfolio, which gives Microsoft a broader story than just saying it can compete just with Xen and VMware. It also now has a complete range of virtualization technologies instead of just a point solution," said Al Gillen, research director of Systems Software for IDC in Framingham, Mass.

The newly acquired technology is expected to work in concert with Microsoft's existing virtualization products and technologies namely Virtualization Server 2005 and its hypervisor technology, a thin layer of virtualization software to be embedded into its upcoming Longhorn Server operating system due early next year.

Microsoft has a couple of competitors in the application streaming market. Altiris, a competitor for Microsoft in the systems management space, recently entered the desktop application-streaming sector with its Software Virtualization Solution. Citrix Systems Inc. is also working on an application streaming solution based on its Tarpon technology.

The move could go a long way toward raising industry awareness of desktop streaming software, in the view of some analysts, along with helping Microsoft modernize its Web development strategy and play catch-up against a raft of fleet-footed Web 2.0-class competitors. It may also give Windows-based ISVs a smoother way to transition from the traditional client-server development approach of creating applications to a services-based one.

"Softricity can help third-party developers better deploy a Windows Live distribution model. For corporate developers with lots of customized apps for things like SQL Server, they can now start to think about converting from a client-server mentality over to a services-oriented one," said Dana Gardner, principal analyst with InterArbor Solutions Inc. in Gilford, N.H.

At the center of Softricity's portfolio is its SoftGrid platform. This technology makes it possible to turn Windows applications into a series of virtual services that can be managed centrally and that can be accessed by any Windows-based server or desktop system. Any application can be sent to desktop users as a virtualized image and does not have to interact with the operating system. This means application processes can run on local machines taking advantage of local resources with only a portion of the application being cached.

Initial plans call for Softricity's product set to be incorporated into Microsoft's Systems Management Software 2003 Release 2, according to Microsoft officials.

Read the entire article, here.

Published Friday, June 30, 2006 6:49 AM by David Marshall
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