Mental Ward

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Microsoft Releases MED-V Beta

Microsoft is pushing a little further into the desktop virtualization space with the release of the first beta of Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V). Quite frankly, I'm not sure what to make of this.

First, it's part of the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP). Why Microsoft keeps releasing virtualization technologies (like its application virtualization tool, App-V) in this restricted way doesn't make sense to me. What if you want MED-V or App-V, but don't need or want Software Assurance? Sorry, you're out of luck, says Microsoft. Either you become part of our revenue stream, or you can't have. This really, really rankles me.

Is Microsoft within its rights to do this? Sure. It's totally stupid, in my opinion, but Redmond should be free to run its business however it wants. As consumers, of course, we're equally free to say "Bite me, Microsoft," and get VMware's ThinApp or Citrix' XenApp without having to enter into a contract.

The other thing is that it only works with Virtual PC. Remember that it's a hosted hypervisor, meaning it exists as an application in the base OS. Virtual PC, although a nice product for what it does, is limited in functionality, and by its nature as a hosted hypervisor, slow. Also note that Windows 7 isn't supported in the first beta. Maybe it will be in the final version, expected out sometime in the first half of this year.

All in all, this release gets more of a yawn from me than anything else. Lots of exciting stuff is happening in the world of desktop virtualization; too bad this didn't add to that excitement.

Posted by Keith Ward on 01/16/2009 at 12:48 PM


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