Over at Microsoft's official MDOP blog, Dave Trupkin, a senior product manager for MED-V, writes: "If you have legacy Windows XP or Internet Explorer 6/7 applications that are slowing down your Windows 7 deployment plans, don't let them stand in your way." MED-V is the answer.
If you search for information on Microsoft MED-V, it seems to center around Windows 7 migration. Rather than market the solution as a new and interesting way to deliver and manage virtual desktops, most of the discussions make MED-V sound like little more than an advanced version of Microsoft's XP Mode. MED-V-managed legacy applications, like XP Mode, appear to the user as ordinary Windows 7 applications, but in reality these legacy applications are running inside a seamless virtual workspace that is powered by Microsoft Virtual PC. Sound familiar? Sure, there's more to this product, but migration more than anything seems to be Microsoft's end goal.
Microsoft lists the following new features in the public beta release of MED-V 2.0:
- No dedicated MED-V infrastructure to deploy -- MED-V 2.0 workspaces are deployed and managed using existing electronic software distribution (ESD) systems, including System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) 2007 R2 or higher.
- Streamlined sign-on to the MED-V workspace -- Users can save their passwords for seamless sign-on to the MED-V workspace.
- Automatic application publishing -- New applications deployed to MED-V workspaces, including App-V virtual applications, are available to the Windows 7 host automatically.
- My Documents and Desktop redirection -- Legacy applications work just like locally installed applications when it comes to opening, saving and printing documents.
- USB device/SmartCard support -- USB devices, including thumb drives and Smartcard readers can be shared between the host and applications running in the MED-V workspace.
- New Internet Explorer redirection options -- IT administrators can redirect legacy Web applications using wildcards, sites, at the page level, or by specifying a port
- Automated guest hibernation at shutdown -- The MED-V workspace is seamlessly suspended when the user logs off or shuts down the Windows 7 host.
In the end, MED-V appears to be another way for Microsoft to migrate people from Windows XP to Windows 7. It's a simple and very achievable goal, but one that probably falls way short of the vision Kidaro painted as an innovative startup more than two years ago.
The final version of MED-V 2.0 is expected sometime in the first half of 2011, but if you want to get a jump start on using it, you can download the public beta from Microsoft Connect. Interested beta participants need to register or have an account on Microsoft Connect in order to get started.