In February, some interesting virtualization news about the Windows 10 Anniversary Update leaked. Today, July 5, Microsoft confirmed its authenticity.
According to a Microsoft partner who spoke back in February, the company's App-V application-virtualization client would be bundled with Windows 10. Today Microsoft announced officially that Windows 10 Enterprise and Education users will get App-V and UE-V (User Environment Virtualization) automatically, no separate download and deployment required.
From Microsoft's blog post:
"With the upcoming Windows 10 Anniversary Update, we're reducing the effort of deploying two of the most popular components of MDOP - Application Virtualization (App-V) and User Environment Virtualization (UE-V) -- by including them in the Windows Enterprise and Education editions instead of requiring a separate download and deployment. They will also be included in-box in Windows Server 2016 Datacenter."
There's a catch, however, for Windows Pro users. From today's blog post:
"If your organization is currently running App-V or UE-V on Windows 10 Professional or earlier and plan to upgrade to the Windows 10 Anniversary release, you will need to deploy the Enterprise edition to use App-V and UE-V on those devices."
All the other MDOP components will still be available as part of the MDOP 2015 installation media. But future updates to App-V and UE-V will only be available for the Windows 10 Anniversary Update or later. In other words, if you're not running Windows 10 Enterprise or Education, you won't get any future updates to App-V or UE-V.
App-V and UE-V are currently both among the handful of virtualization and management tools that are part of the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP).
MDOP is for business customers with Software Assurance licensing contracts or available as an add-on to Intune subscriptions. UE-V is a tool that allows users to switch up their devices but retain settings without needing to reconfigure their apps or desktop settings each time they log into Windows.
Update (July 7): Here are answers to a couple of questions I received from readers on the App-V/UE-V bundle. Answers are from a Microsoft spokesperson.
Q: In order to use App-V and UE-V, will Win 10 Anniversary Education and Enterprise users still need Software Assurance?
A: App-V and UE-V will be included in Windows 10 Enterprise Long Term Servicing Branch (LTSB) 2016, which will be available for purchase as an upgrade license without Software Assurance in certain VL (volume licensing) programs. The MDOP suite continues to be available exclusively via Software Assurance in VL.
(MJF: Note that the Microsoft answer does not mention Current Branch or Current Business Branch. Those users, apparently, still do need Software Assurance to use App-V and UE-V even after they're bundled.)
Q: Will Windows 7/8.x users get any further updates to App-V and UE-V beyond the last updates they got as part of MDOP 2015 (if they don't go to Windows 10 Enterprise/Education)? If the answer is no, do they get a discount on SA?
A: Users will get support and hotfixes as necessary; however, they will not receive new features or future enhancements for App-V and UE-V beyond the current features found in MDOP 2015.