If you've got some legacy third-party and/or custom Windows apps you've been unable to get to run on Vista, you'll soon have access to a new tool that may help: Microsoft's Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V).
On January 15, Microsoft made a first public beta of MED-V available for download by anyone interested in trying it. (You do have to complete a short survey on Microsoft's Connect site to get the bits, but that's it.)
The first release of MED-V is aimed at allowing Windows XP and Windows 2000 apps to run on Vista machines. The product does this by running the older Windows versions virtually (using Virtual PC) on a Vista machine. The first release of the product won't support any other legacy versions of Windows and is tailored to work on Vista only. Microsoft is planning future versions that will work on Windows 7, officials said.
Microsoft is expecting the final version of MED-V to be available in the second calendar quarter of 2009. The final product will be available only as part of the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP), a collection of utilities and technologies that Microsoft makes available to its Software Assurance licensees only. Other MDOP products include Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V), Asset Inventory Service, Advanced Group Policy Management, Dianostics and Recovery Toolset and System Center Desktop Error Monitoring.
Microsoft officials said today that the company has sold 11.5 million seats of MDOP during the three years it has been available. Existing MDOP customers will automatically get the final MED-V bits this year for no additional charge, officials said.
MED-V is based on technology Microsoft acquired when it bought Kidaro last year.