Microsoft Vista creates problems - Kidaro to the rescue

Microsoft Vista creates problems - Kidaro to the rescue

Summary: I just read through the announcement the Microsoft is acquiring the "desktop virtualization" player Kidaro. It didn't take much thought to understand the reasons why if one only reads media and analyst comments about Microsoft's current desktop operating system, Microsoft VistaWho's Kidaro?


I just read through the announcement the Microsoft is acquiring the "desktop virtualization" player Kidaro. It didn't take much thought to understand the reasons why if one only reads media and analyst comments about Microsoft's current desktop operating system, Microsoft Vista

Who's Kidaro?

I have posted a couple of times on Kidaro. One post, Kidaro Presents Virtual Corporate “To-Go”, examined the company and what it does. Another post, Kidaro customer gains streamlined IT control, profiled the benefits one Kidaro got from Kidaro's technology.

For those who don't want to travel back in time and read those posts, here's how the company describes itself.

Kidaro's scalable, mobile desktop virtualization platform leverages a choice of industry-standard virtualization engines (e.g., VMware®, Microsoft®) to create a corporate-managed encrypted workspace, delivered for local use via DVD, over the network, or for ultimate mobility, via the Kidaro ToGo™ virtual desktop on a USB flash drive. Once the virtual workspace is delivered, users simply authenticate to get started. Predefined applications, resources and network settings become available on their desktop, protected from data leakage, loss or theft, and isolated from vulnerabilities on the underlying PC. All virtual machine management, deployment, and policy enforcement is automated and centrally controlled. This allows IT groups to manage a single virtual desktop, instead of managing thousands of unique desktop images and hardware configurations.

When I spoke to them, I came to the conclusion that the technology appeared to be similar to what LANDesk is offering combined with a little bit of Catbird thrown in for good measure. It appears to offer capabilities that also appear similar to Qumarnet. I openly wondered how they were going to get through all of the noise in the market and become a name IT decision-makers would know. Now I know. Be acquired by Microsoft and the problem is solved.

Here's a bit of how Microsoft describes the move

Managing desktops across an enterprise can be time-consuming, complex and costly. Adding Kidaro’s desktop virtualization capabilities to the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack suite will provide Microsoft Software Assurance customers who have purchased the add-on subscription with the enhanced ability to do the following:

  • Accelerate Windows Vista migrations by minimizing compatibility issues between applications and the operating system
  • Easily deploy managed Virtual PCs to Windows desktops
  • Drive business continuity by enabling rapid reconstitution of corporate desktops
  • Minimize the tension between IT control and user flexibility by applying policies in locked-down corporate Virtual PCs while giving users more open access to the underlying host operating system
  • Speed user adoption of desktop virtualization by making Virtual PCs iinvisible” to end users
  • Reduce IT investment in desktop image management by delivering virtual images independent of hardware or local desktop configuration

Snapshot Analysis

Microsoft Vista has been viewed as big, slow, complex and incompatible with applications that organizations have come to depend upon. So, I often hear of organizations that have decided to stay with Windows XP until the next Windows operating system comes out.

This creates a big problem for Microsoft. First of all, Microsoft is often presented as having a dominant share of the desktop operating system, office productivity software and collaborative software markets. Dominant, by the way means having greater than 50% share of a given market or more than twice the share of the next competitor in a fragmented market. Microsoft is said to have well over 90% share of the revenues in both the desktop operating system and the office productivity tools markets. Acquiring new customers is increasingly challenging for those who dominate a given market.

Until the company can find a way to make organizations accept a software-as-a-service model for operating systems, office productivity software and collaborative tools, the company depends upon selling product upgrades on a regular basis for revenue. That sounds good until one reads media and analyst comments on Windows Vista, Office 2007, et. al. Comments such as "bloated", "slow" and "incompatible" are often seen. This doesn't bode well for getting organizations who see information technology as a necessary evil to move from something that is good enough for their purposes. Microsoft has made several acquisitions, including Softricity and now Kidaro, in the hopes of making the transition to Windows Vista easier and, thus, get more organizations to move over to Vista. Unfortunately for these organizations, Microsoft has tied this software to the purchase of one of its support services rather than offering these jewels as packaged software.

While I thought Kidaro's approach was interesting, that offered by others seemed better. Let's see what Microsoft does with this technology and if it really convinces those who are waiting that Windows Vista is something they just have to acquire, something that is worth the acquisition of a support contract, upgrading systems to support the heavier load and dealing with incompatibilities that are often mentioned.

Topics: Microsoft, Hardware, Operating Systems, Software, Virtualization, Windows


Daniel Kusnetzky, a reformed software engineer and product manager, founded Kusnetzky Group LLC in 2006. He's literally written the book on virtualization and often comments on cloud computing, mobility and systems software. In his spare time, he's also the managing partner of Lux Sonus LLC, an investment firm.

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  • RE: Microsoft Vista creates problems - Kidaro to the rescue

    i RECENTLY PURCHASED VISTA ULTIMATE/64 BIT AND INSTALLED IT ON A NEW BUILD. LEARNED MY LESSON WELL DID I!!! NEVER AGAIN I SAID TO MYSELF!!! WHAT A BLOOMING NIGHTMARE!!! HARDLY COMPATABILITY WITH ANYTHING!!! IT AUTOMATICALLY OVERCLOCKED THE MOTHERBOARD( AN MSI K9A2 PLATINUM w/AMD 790FX Chipset), RAM( OCZ Reaper PC8000 DDR2 1000MHz-4GB), VIDEO CARDS(4-Diamond Viper Radeon X1950 Pro w/512 MB, PCIe, setup to crossfire), SOUND CARD(Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi Extreme PCIe), AND CPU(AMD PHENOM X4 9600 Black Edition). It then proceeded to FRY THE ENTIRE SYSTEM including an Ultra 1000Watt power supply. For approx. 12 hours it appeared to be the best thing on earth since soft spead butter, then it kicked me in my teeth -- OK-- pocketbook/wallet. Would I recommend this system to anyone??? No way in hell!!! Do I think Microsoft has a long way to go to perfect this operating system? You betcha!!! At this rate in 4 to 5 years they may have their act together ... lets hope!!! I have always loved Microsoft products and used them extensively and recommended them likewise; But once bitten, twice shy!!
    • Microsoft Vista creates problems

      You installed it wrong!
      • Yeah!

        He forgot, it's supposed to be "green
        side up". Nothing can grow with it's
        roots sticking up in the air.....
        Ole Man
  • RE: Microsoft Vista creates problems - Kidaro to the rescue

    "So, I often hear of organizations that have decided to stay with Windows XP until the next Windows operating system comes out."

    It's more staying with Windows XP until it looks like it's worth upgrading. My organization is definitely sticking with XP for the time being, but if they actually manage to un-bloat Vista enough, or improve performance to the point where it becomes useful, we may yet upgrade to it. Maaaaaybe in a year or so.

    This desktop virtualization idea is intriguing though. Dan, you suggest there are better technologies for this made by others - by who? I'm interested.
  • Vista is still a bummer

    This sounds like a really nice spin off of thin clients and is definitely much easier then managing images but at the same time, it doesn't make Vista any better. If anything, businesses may simply buy into this technology to help ease the pain of deploying XP workstations ...I just don't see how this will make the switch to Vista any less difficult or motivating.

    - John Musbach
    John Musbach