I'm relaying the following article on behalf of my colleague Shanen Boettcher, General Manager of Windows Product Management for the enterprise. During Virtualization Briefing Day in January, Shanen posted to give you background on what we're doing to make it simpler and easier to introduce and get the most out of virtualization of Windows in enterprise environments. He's back again today with an update on virtualization, as well as other components that illustrate our commitment to improving the optimized desktop.
This week at the Microsoft Management Summit
(MMS) in Las Vegas, we've talked about Microsoft's role in improving the optimized desktop and emphasized Microsoft's commitment to virtualization. I want to tell you about some news coming out of the show today, which includes details on the product roadmaps for specific tools within the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) for Software Assurance.
The combination of MDOP and Windows Vista gives customers the tools they need to support more flexible work environments for their users, while making it easier and more efficient to manage and maintain their networks. This is the concept we refer to as the optimized desktop, and many of our customers have the tools to realize the benefits today. We're responding to the enthusiasm our customers have shown for these products by continuing to improve upon them and roll out new updates in real time. Following are the updates you'll be seeing in the most immediate future:
Microsoft Application Virtualization 4.5:
Microsoft Application Virtualization 4.5 Release Candidate 1 is scheduled for June 2008 and will be made available to customers on Microsoft Connect
. As customers begin to take advantage of the benefits of virtualization, we've seen a growing interest in Microsoft Application Virtualization. Over 7,000 customers have already downloaded the beta.
Asset Inventory Service (AIS) 1.5:
AIS 1.5 is scheduled to be released to the web in Q3 2008. AIS 1.5 will add license reconciliation, System Center Configuration Manager integration and scalability enhancements.
Advanced Group Policy Management (AGPM) 3.0:
AGPM 3.0 will be available for all customers in Q3 2008. AGPM 3.0 will provide Windows Vista SP1 and Windows Server 2008 support (x86 and x64), globalization, more flexible security, enhanced reporting and an enhanced UI.
We also announced today that for very first time we will be extending MDOP to languages beyond English. We plan to release localized versions of Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset (DaRT) 6.0 and Desktop Error Monitoring (DEM) 3.0 SP1 in ten languages in Q3 2008. AGPM and Microsoft Application Virtualization 4.5 will follow toward the end of 2008. Based on direct customer feedback from the international community, we plan to localize MDOP into the ten following languages:
- Chinese Simplified
- Chinese Traditional
- Brazilian Portuguese
As a follow up on our Virtualization Briefing Day announcement regarding Microsoft and Citrix's expanded alliance, I wanted to tell you about some progress we're making toward a joint VDI solution that will be available for production usage later this year. This turn-key offering combines the brokering and user experience components of Citrix XenDesktop, with the Microsoft hardware virtualization, application virtualization and virtualization management technologies. Citrix XenDesktop has the capability to create Windows Vista images for specific users from a shared base image and significantly reduces the TCO of this solution relative to today's static deployments.
In separate but related news during Day 2 of MMS, Microsoft announced System Center Configuration Manager 2007 Service Pack 1 (SP1) and System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R2. System Center Configuration Manager 2007 is a solution that comprehensively assesses, deploys and updates servers, clients, and devices - across physical, virtual, distributed and mobile environments. System Center Configuration Manager 2007 SP1, which will be available May 27th, will provide further support for Windows Vista SP1 and Windows Server 2008. Additionally, System Center Configuration Manager 2007 SP1 provides deeper management of the hardware. There is a new, attached service-based connection for System Center Configuration Manager 2007 SP1 that ensures accurate insight to the network landscape including support for Microsoft Application Virtualization applications.
The System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R2 release natively integrates Microsoft Application Virtualization distribution and streaming technology into the Configuration Manager infrastructure to work even better with Application Virtualization within MDOP. System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R2 will be available to customers in Q3 CY2008.
You may recall that earlier this month, Chris Flores announced
the Microsoft Desktop Optimization (MDOP) Pack 2008
- a set of tools designed to make it easier for IT Pros to deploy and manage Windows Vista in their organizations. This, along with many of the solutions we're talking at MMS about today - provides IT Pros with an excellent set of tools for their IT environment and their Windows PCs.
For more information on news coming out of MMS this week, check out the Virtual Press Room