Although customers can already download version 4.6 of Microsoft Application Virtualization, the Redmond-based company is now offering for download the second major upgrade to its predecessor. Application Virtualization (App-V) 4.5 Service Pack 2 (SP2) is now available through the Microsoft Download Center, bringing to the table the latest updates to App-V 4.5. The main changes highlighted by the software giant for the evolution of App-V 4.5 with the release of SP2 involve virtualization support of Office 2010 and of SQL Mirroring.

“This service pack provides the latest updates to Microsoft Application Virtualization 4.5. Because Microsoft Application Virtualization service packs are cumulative, you do not have to install Service Pack 1 before you install Service Pack 2. Service Pack 2 includes all of the fixes that were included in Service Pack 1,” Microsoft revealed. More »

Customers looking to tailor an application to Microsoft’s latest iteration of the Windows client now have a new tool at their disposal. In collaboration with Microsoft, ChangeBASE has introduced AOK4SMB, a Cloud-based offering designed to perform application-compatibility testing and remediation for apps that need to be adapted to Windows 7 Professional. AOK for Small and Midsize Businesses (AOK4SMB) is available for free until the end of July 2010. SMB customers, developers and IT professionals can upload their app into AOK4SMB, and have the tool assess Windows 7 Professional compatibility but also automatically remediate problems, free of charge.

“The ability to ensure application compatibility when migrating to a new operating system is crucial for any organization,” Colin Gray, global sales director, ChangeBASE, noted. In fact, one of the largest impediments associated with businesses embracing a new OS is related to incompatibility worries. Microsoft offers a range of resources capable of allowing customers to evaluate potential compatibility problems, but the twist added by AOK4SMB is that the automatic remediation of issues is also performed. More »

Microsoft is upping the ante when it comes down to desktop optimization for Windows clients. The public Beta program for Windows Intune is now live, the first step in the company’s vision to introduce new offerings designed to take desktop management into the Cloud. Designed to streamline the administration of Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP seats, Windows Intune is designed to ‘tune up’ Windows clients, boosting efficiency, security, while helping business customers cut down the TCO (total cost of ownership). In this regard, Windows Intune has been created for small and midsize businesses, with environments featuring anywhere from 25 to 500 PCs.

“Windows Intune simplifies how businesses manage and secure PCs using Windows cloud services and Windows 7—making it easier for IT staff to manage and secure PCs from virtually anywhere. In addition to the core cloud service in this offering, we’re also providing access to Windows 7 Enterprise upgrades as well as advanced on-premise management and virtualization tools (Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack),” Brandon LeBlanc, Windows communications manager on the Windows Client Communications Team, revealed. More »

Although Microsoft has already started sharing the first details about Service Pack 1 for Windows 7, fact is that information on what the major update will bring to the table continues to be scarce. A third-party source claims that the Redmond company is planning performance enhancements for the first upgrade to Windows 7.

The information has yet to be confirmed or denied by Microsoft, as the software giant continues to keep SP1 information under a tight lid in Redmond.

Windows 7 SP1 will bring to the table a performance boost for BitLocker Drive Encryption, according to TechARP. BitLocker is an encryption feature offered initially with Windows Vista and perfected with Windows 7, which now allows customers to encrypt hard disks and removable storage devices such as USB drives, to protect information from unauthorized access in various scenarios involving, among others, PC loss or theft.

At the same time, the website reports that storage-related performance fixes are also coming, although no specific details were shared. It seems that some of the performance improvements have already been delivered through Windows Update, while others will only be offered with SP1.
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Application Virtualization (App-V) 4.6 is one of the key components of the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack 2010, a release which is tailored specifically to Windows 7, Windows Server 2008 R2 and Office 2010. Microsoft Software Assurance customers can access App-V 4.6 immediately via MDOP 2010. In addition, the Redmond company has made available the solution accelerator to MDOP customers via MDOP 2010 which is available for download via the Microsoft Volume Licensing Site (MVLS). In addition, customers that only want to evaluate MDOP 2010, can grab the bits from MSDN and TechNet.

“App-V will help save money immediately by freeing up administration time from IT and enhance end-user productivity. It is an out-of-the-box platform to enable you to migrate your applications and deploy Windows 7 faster and easier. We offer much tighter integration with more products (Office 2010, SCCM, 3rd Party Distribution Systems) and we support both Windows 32/64-bit applications and x86/x64 platforms on desktops as well as Terminal Servers. App-V client deployment is easy and plugs into your existing deployment workflows,” revealed Karri Alexion-Tiernan, director of Product Management for App-V. More »