Microsoft announces today that the new version of its application virtualization platform, acquired by Softricity in 2006, is now called App-V 4.5.
The product, once known as SoftGrid, has been renamed Application Virtualization for some months, but the company has finally decided to adopt the less confusing App-V name.
App-V 4.5 will be included in the upcoming Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) 2008 R2, expected within few weeks.
Additionally, the product will be fully supported by the just released System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) 2007 R2 and by System Center Operation Manager (SCOM) 2007 through a new Management Pack.
More important than that, along with App-V 4.5, Microsoft will release a new Service Providers License Agreement (SPLA), allowing 3rd parties to stream applications to their customers with App-V.
This new SPLA, called Microsoft Application Virtualization 4.5 Hosting for Desktops, is not as open as originally planned and leaked by Endeavors Technologies and other application virtualization vendors.
Considering the original intention, it’s likely that the new restriction is now due to the upcoming competition with VMware, as the competitor is now fully into the application virtualization market with ThinApp, acquired in January by Thinstall.
Nonetheless this is a major step towards the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) reality: without a change in the Microsoft licensing, the number of business products that could be streamed on users desktop is limited and this severely restricts the profit opportunities.
virtualization.info will cover the new SPLA in details as soon as it’s available.