A new startup launches today in the already crowded application virtualization market: InstallFree.
InstallFree is an Israeli company (with the official HQ in US) founded in 2006 by Yori Gabay, CEO, and Netzer Shlomai, CTO, both previously at Gteko which was acquired by Microsoft.
Other key members of the management team are David Karofsky, Vice President of Marketing, which comes from EMC, and Yuval Neeman, Board Advisor, which is a former Vice President at Microsoft (16 years at the company) who completed a couple of successful acquisitions (Secured Dimensions and M-System) in the last years.
The company is funded with $1.7 million from several angel investors and VC firms.
Despite the incredible number of competitors, including Microsoft with Application Virtualization (formerly SoftGrid) and VMware with Thinstall, InstallFree has some interesting capabilities to market.
The first company product, Bridge, is able to create autonomous (agent-less) virtual applications which can be updated or incrementally patched without the need to re-virtualize them.
The customizations that users may decide to apply to a virtualized app are saved in dedicated encrypted files, which can be saved and redistributed, and which are not impacted when the application is updated.
Additionally, InstallFree offers a centralized management console, which fully integrates with Microsoft Active Directory, and uses it to distribute the virtual apps to corporate users.
From there the administrators can pack applications and patches, apply them to users and groups for delivery, and even manage the available software licenses accordingly.
The virtual applications can be prepared to run on multiple versions of Windows (both 32bit and 64bit) with a single package and InstallFree supports out-of-the-box VDI and Terminal Services environments.
The company doesn’t just virtualize the access to Windows file system and registry anyway.
It creates a complete virtual environment for the application where most OS components are emulated. This includes the security access system, which allows to distribute the virtual apps on OSes where the user has no high-level permissions (like Internet kiosks).
Additionally, different virtualized applications can communicate with each other, even if they are not in the same package.
InstallFree technology also includes streaming capabilities: the applications (and the users data files) are seamlessly streamed in a bi-directional way between the app repository and the client machine. Anyway, to avoid the network dependency Bridge allows to locally cache the apps.
InstallFree is also working on an additional product called Desktop, which will allow the company to compete on the corporate virtual desktop market against Microsoft (with Kidaro Workspaces), VMware (with ACE), Sentillion (with vThere) and MokaFive (with the new Virtual Desktop Solution), despite the solution is the only one not using hardware virtualization technologies.
It’s yet to be seen if Bridge features and Desktop in roadmap will be enough to give InstallFree a good chance to emerge.
No trial of InstallFree Bridge 1.0 is available at the moment.