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Microsoft Accelerates Desktop Virtualization

Expands desktop virtualization strategy to offer choice, manageability and cost savings

Microsoft Session at Cloud Expo

Microsoft on Tuesday announced new investments around desktop virtualization technologies and solutions, including virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), to help organizations of all sizes increase flexibility, employee productivity and IT cost savings.

"Employees crave options in where and how they work. And yet, IT still needs to enforce security and compliance of devices. The business is being pulled in two directions," said Brad Anderson, corporate vice president of the Management and Services Division at Microsoft. "Microsoft's desktop virtualization strategy is unique in addressing this balance. It builds on existing investments and comprehensive management to mitigate risks and control costs, while still equipping end users to be more productive from anywhere."

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Customers are also looking at desktop virtualization as a means to reduce costs and accelerate delivery of new applications. A new Microsoft total cost of ownership study on the use of application virtualization technology showed that customers using a Microsoft virtualization technology called Microsoft App-V achieved a 27 percent labor savings, and equivalent cost savings of $82 per PC per year, in application life-cycle management compared with those not using application virtualization. The study also demonstrated how Microsoft App-V helps IT professionals deliver applications more quickly and efficiently.

"We have a strong philosophy that IT is an enabler for the business, and we are always looking for the best IT solutions to meet the needs of our employees and customers," said Chaz Spahn, senior systems engineer for Expedia Inc. "We're working with Microsoft on our desktop virtualization projects. We're using App-V in production and looking to virtualize about 90 percent of our applications. In addition, we have two use cases where we are exploring hosted desktops and foresee about 30 percent of our users could move to this platform. Microsoft was our choice since they have the right solutions to increase our speed of application and desktop provisioning, improve security and compliance, and provide integrated management across our physical and virtual environments."

Microsoft outlined improvements that make it easier to access desktop virtualization. More information on today's announcement and Microsoft's virtualization strategy is available here.

  • New VDI promotions available for qualified customers to choose from today. Microsoft and Citrix Systems are offering the "Rescue for VMware VDI" promotion, which allows VMware View customers to trade in up to 500 licenses at no additional cost, and the "VDI Kick Start" promotion, which offers new customers a more than 50 percent discount off the estimated retail price. Eligibility and other details on the two promotions can be found at http://www.citrixandmicrosoft.com.
  • Improved licensing model for virtual Windows desktop. Beginning July 1, 2010, Windows Client Software Assurance customers will no longer have to buy a separate license to access their Windows operating system in a VDI environment, as virtual desktop access rights now will be a Software Assurance benefit.
  • New roaming use rights improve flexibility. Beginning July 1, 2010, Windows Client Software Assurance and new Virtual Desktop Access license customers will have the right to access their virtual Windows desktop and their Microsoft Office applications hosted on VDI technology on secondary, non-corporate network devices, such as home PCs and kiosks.
  • Windows XP Mode no longer requires hardware virtualization technology. This change simplifies the experience by making virtualization more accessible to many more PCs for small and midsize businesses wanting to migrate to Windows 7 Professional or higher editions, while still running Windows XP-based productivity applications.
  • Two new features coming in Windows Server 2008 R2 service pack 1. Microsoft Dynamic Memory will allow customers to adjust memory of a guest virtual machine on demand to maximize server hardware use. Microsoft RemoteFX will enable users of virtual desktops and applications to receive a rich 3-D, multimedia experience while accessing information remotely.
  • New technology agreement with Citrix Systems. The companies will work together to enable the high-definition HDX technology in Citrix XenDesktop to enhance and extend the capabilities of the Microsoft RemoteFX platform.

"By joining forces in desktop virtualization, Citrix and Microsoft can provide customers of all sizes with groundbreaking solutions that are profoundly simpler, richer and more cost-effective," said Gordon Payne, senior vice president and general manager, Desktop Division, at Citrix Systems. "Today's announcements mark a historic milestone in our 20-year relationship that will dramatically simplify desktop computing for years to come."

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