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Microsoft liberalizes desktop virtualization licensing options

Microsoft released Application Virtualization 4.5 RTM software, it also announced several licensing changes around virtual desktops and application virtualization, while omitting a long-anticipated one. Enterprises will welcome some of the changes but dislike others, analysts said.

Starting Jan. 1, the Vista Enterprise Centralized Desktop (VECD) virtualization license will be expanded to accommodate some specific IT management needs.

According to Scott Woodgate, director of Windows product management, it will allow enterprises to deliver Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) Windows desktops from servers to client PCs that are owned and controlled by employees.

It will also allow IT managers to deploy VDI desktops to PCs used by contract workers or firms. And employees who occasionally work from home will be able to use a Windows virtual machine either streamed from a server to their home computers or from a USB thumb drive.

Virtual desktops are typically deployed only to PCs directly managed by central IT. These changes will give IT managers more flexibility, according to Paul DeGroot, an analyst at Directions on Microsoft.

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