InstallFree, a 13-employee startup, announced InstallFree Bridge last week as a different way to virtualize desktops. Bridge converts a user's own Windows desktop applications and personalized settings into a virtual machine file format. It encrypts the virtual file on a server and, when called upon, downloads it to a Windows-equipped machine at any location, where the apps run as if it has been installed on the hardware. When the user is finished, he shuts down his own -- or, for that matter -- his borrowed hardware, leaving no data, no trace of the virtual desktop, no reminder of his presence.
The virtualized desktop doesn't touch the operating system's file or plant agents to help manage the desktop, said Yori Gabay, co-founder and CEO of InstallFree. "We never write to the [Windows] registry. We never install software," to get the virtual desktop up and running, he said in an interview.
At the same time, the virtualized apps don't need to have a Windows operating system bundled with them because they use the one on the client machine, as long as it's running a version of Windows XP or Vista. That results in a quick, 30-MB download instead of one that runs into the hundreds of megabytes.
InstallFree Bridge, Virtualization, Virtual Desktop, Software