Just last week virtualization.info questioned the Microsoft effort on desktop virtualization (including application virtualization and the so called enterprise desktop virtualization, what we call here platform wrappers).
Our article mentioned the MED-V lethargic development lifecycle and the fact that Microsoft stays under the radar for App-V too because at this time it may be the best thing to do.
What Microsoft is waiting for to massively push App-V and everything else beyond Hyper-V?
For App-V, the answer may be Office 2010 (codename Office 14).
During the summer in fact ZDNet reported that the new version of Office, expected somewhere in 2010, will feature a special edition called Click-To-Run.
Office 2010 CTR will be available on Microsoft servers, and streamed on the customers desktops on demand, as the Microsoft invitation letter to its beta testers describes:
Q: Can I use any of the Office 2010 applications before the install is complete?
A: Yes, you can use them while they are being streamed to your computer. You might notice some slight delays when using the product if they are not fully installed on your machine.
Does the Office 2010 products get installed on my machine every time I use an application or when I reboot my machine?
No. The Office 2010 products are streamed to your computer and installed once. After they are streamed to your computer the product stays installed on your machine.
Do I need to be connected to the Internet when I use any of the Office 2010 applications?
You only need an internet connection to download the complete product. Once it has been fully downloaded you no longer need an Internet connection.
What happens if I lose my internet connection before the complete Office 2010 product is fully downloaded?
You can still use the Office 2010 applications. But since not all of the entire product features have been streamed to your computer, your applications may have limited capabilities, depending on what has been downloaded so far. When you connection is restored, the product will continue streaming from the point that it left off…
ZDNet can’t confirm that App-V is involved but virtualization.info just received independent confirmations.
Microsoft is not really trying to keep the secret. Here’s a video introducing the CTR edition that Microsoft published just one month ago. It doesn’t mention App-V but application virtualization is clearly mentioned:
Office CTR is in private beta at the moment. Microsoft may decide to unveil it along with the Office 2010 public beta (aka beta 2), hopefully to be unveiled at TechEd Europe 2009, November 6.
If customers will embrace Office CTR it will be a major validation for application virtualization, and Microsoft will be able to leverage the awareness and interest around it by pushing its platform in the enterprise space in a completely different way.
This may also trigger the ISVs reaction: without 3rd parties applications supported on this new platform, customers could use App-V only with Microsoft products, which is a good start but not enough to reach the level of adoption that hardware virtualization has today.