New beta of Microsoft virtualization tool adds Windows, IE roaming-settings support

As promised, Microsoft has rolled out a second public beta of its User Experience Virtualization tool that will be part of its MDOP bundle.

Microsoft made available on June 26 a second public beta of a new virtualization tool for its Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) licensees.

That new tool is known as User Experience Virtualization (UE-V) -- and codenamed "Park City." Beta 2 adds support for roaming system settings between Windows 7 and Windows 8; support for additional operating-system settings (including Start menu, Taskbar and folders options); group-policy support for agent-configuration consistency; and the roaming and sync of settings between Internet Explorer versions 8, 9 and 10.

UE-V Beta 2 is available for download from Microsoft Connect.

"We’re excited about these additions to UE-V as they further enable people to change their device and keep their experience," said Director of Product Management Karri Alexion-Tiernan in a new post to the "Windows for Your Business" blog.

Alexion-Tiernan added that Microsoft's desktop virtualization tools are already Windows 8-compatible.

" And for customers currently migrating to Windows 7, there is no need to change your plans, as Microsoft Desktop Virtualization works with Windows 7 as well," she said.

As Microsoft officials explained earlier this year, “UE-V is a user state virtualization product that allows individuals to change devices without reconfiguring applications or settings in Windows 7 or Windows 8.”

Microsoft delivered to its volume licensees with Software Assurance MDOP 2011 R2, the most recent release of the MDOP bundle, in August 2011. Windows Intune service customers who pay an extra $1 per user for MDOP, also got the R2 release last summer.

MDOP currently includes Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V), Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V), Advanced Group Policy Management (AGPM), Asset Inventory Service (AIS), BitLocker Administration and Monitoring (MBAM) and Microsoft Desktop Error Monitoring (DEM) 3.5. Microsoft is phasing out support for AIS and is not going to enable MED-V to support Windows 8, officials have acknowledged.

Microsoft uses MDOP as a carrot to try to get more of its business users to subscribe to Software Assurance.