Microsoft: All Windows 7 customers should consider desktop virtualization

Microsoft is continuing its Windows 7 marketing push with a recommendation that all customers examine desktop virtualization before moving users to the new operating system.

Microsoft is continuing its Windows 7 marketing push with a recommendation that all customers examine desktop virtualization before moving users to the new operating system.

Desktop virtualization is still probably more often talked about than actually deployed, but analysts and vendors believe the expected mass migration to Windows 7 may be coupled with many new virtualization deployments.

5 tips for a smooth Windows 7 migration11 tools for Windows 7 migrations

Virtualization of desktops, applications and user settings may potentially speed up the process of moving users from an old desktop to a new Windows 7 machine, and solve application compatibility problems. However, the virtualization projects themselves are timely and costly -- although Microsoft did lower the Windows licensing costs for virtual desktops earlier this year -- so IT shops will have to examine the pros and cons closely.

Microsoft, though, gives nothing but high marks to desktop virtualization in a post on the Windows for your Business blog.

"As they move to Windows 7, we are seeing customers widely adopt the virtualization technologies," writes Microsoft Windows general manager Rich Reynolds. "This helps IT simplify deployment, migration and management of their desktop environments enabling faster service delivery, as well as centralize and secure data, and makes applications and user state available regardless of locale."

Reynolds goes on to say that "Leveraging these benefits can get customers to Windows 7 more quickly and easily, so we recommend all our Windows 7 customers look into how desktop virtualization can help their migration."

Microsoft, of course, is pushing its own virtualization products to help with Windows 7 upgrades, recently updating the Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization to improve compatibility with legacy applications and create more options for running Web apps that require the outdated Internet Explorer 6.

"Desktop virtualization will make tasks easier through technology and Microsoft virtualization provides the ability to separate the desktop into layers: User State, App, and OS," Reynolds writes.

Windows 7 includes an XP Mode and a Virtual PC technology to run older operating systems. However, Microsoft has many strong competitors in desktop virtualization and is unlikely to dominate this market in the same way that it dominates the operating system market.

Citrix and VMware are the biggest contenders, with each vendor offering both desktop and application virtualization software. VMware, for example, upgraded its ThinApp application virtualization software this year to migrate applications from older versions of Windows to Windows 7, noting that many customers face complications in moving legacy apps to a new operating system.

But Citrix and VMware are far from the only alternatives to Microsoft. The likes of Dell, AppSense, Liquidware Labs, Parallels, Tranxition, Viewfinity, Zinstall, and Symantec's Ghost and Altiris all make tools that help move either business users or consumers to Windows 7. (See slideshow to view some of these products.)

Follow Jon Brodkin on Twitter: www.twitter.com/jbrodkin

Read more about software in Network World's Software section.

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Configuration / maintenanceMicrosoftWindowshardware systemsdesktop virtualizationsoftwareWindows 7Data Centeroperating systemsvirtualisationvirtualization

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jon Brodkin

Network World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?