Microsoft Opens Beta for Desktop Virtualization

Wary of moving to Windows Vista or Windows 7 because of application incompatibility? Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V) could be your answer, and it's available in public beta form right now.

Microsoft acquired Kidaro in May and MED-V is the product of that acquisition. As described on Microsoft's MED-V page, "MED-V 1.0 provides deployment, management and user experience capabilities for Virtual PC images in a corporate environment …" By hiding most of the complexity of virtual machines, MED-V provides with advantages of virtualization to end users.

John Savill, author of FAQ for Windows wrote an in-depth preview of MED-V. John noted that while MED-V is currently aimed at improving backwards compatibility in Windows, in the future MED-V will be used more for deploying and managing virtual desktops.

MED-V uses Virtual PC, Microsoft's free virtual desktop application. Virtual PC requires a licensed copy of whatever OS you're virtualizing, and because Virtual PC runs as an application on top of an OS, it doesn't perform as well as solutions like Hyper-V or VMware ESX.

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