The SoftGrid Application Virtualization is an integer part of the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack, a comprehensive collection of offerings addressing the Redmond company's Software Assurance customers via volume licensing. The Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack was introduced back in October 2006 as an assortment of desktop management tools designed to cut the total cost of ownership and enhance infrastructure optimization and handling. As of June 2007, MDOP has sold in excess of 1 million licenses. The Windows Vista compatible version of SoftGrid was made available for download with the first complete build of MDOP on July 1.
More importantly, SoftGrid Application Virtualization is just one of the pieces of Microsoft's virtualization puzzle. "It enables you to deploy software applications that are never installed to minimize regression testing, yet follow users anywhere, on demand. It turns Windows applications into centrally managed virtual services that are delivered to any desktop or laptop client worldwide. It can also be integrated and managed within Microsoft SMS," the Redmond company described the SoftGrid product.
Microsoft even posted a complete introduction to SoftGrid on its new Virtualization website, where it is also offering Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager Beta 2, Virtual PC 2007, Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 Beta 3 for download. "Virtualization is a key feature of the operating system, and as such, a technology for which you shouldn’t have to pay extra. Virtualization will span from the desktop to the data center, and the broad array of technologies and applications in between that help to solve critical customer needs. Management of the technologies is critical, and our unique approach is to enable the management of both virtual and physical assets from a single platform," revealed Larry Orecklin, general manager at Microsoft focused on the System Center family of management products and Virtualization.Microsoft, Windows Vista, Vista Enterprise, SoftGrid, Virtualization