After more than one year after the acquisition of Kidaro, Microsoft is finally able to release its version of Managed Workspace, now renamed as Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V).
MED-V is a platform wrapper for Virtual PC that envelops virtual machines in a security layer where the administrator can define granular corporate policies, deciding which physical networks can be accessed, when the VM expires, if the virtual hard drive is encrypted, etc.
The user can’t run more than one virtual machine per time with MED-V. Its image can be updated from a central management console.
MED-V has an enormous potential but Microsoft is mainly selling this product as a solution to maintain legacy applications inside the company while updating to new OSes (namely Vista and very soon Windows 7).
Microsoft has just three competitors in this space at the moment even if none of them is using the same marketing message: VMware, with its ACE (but please note that the ACE capabilities are being moved directly inside VMware Workstation and the product as is today will possibly disappear soon), Sentillion with its vThere and the just arrived Tresys Technology with its VM Fortress.
MED-V 1.0 is distributed as part of the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) 2009, along with App-V 4.5 Cumulative Update 1 and other non-virtualization products.
MDOP is only available for those Microsoft customers that bought the Software Assurance.
Despite the numerous complains about this sales model, Microsoft says that it’s very happy about it and claims 14.4 million MDOP customers.
Maybe it’s true but it’s legit to wonder how many customers Microsoft would get directly selling MED-V and APP-V instead.