Microsoft User Experience Virtualization (UE-V) Release Candidate Now Available

As you might have read on the Windows for Your Business blog,  today Karri Alexion-Tiernan announced that the User Experience Virtualization (UE-V) Release Candidate (RC) is available for download. UE-V, which was first announced in April, will be included in MDOP and gives users a consistent and personal Windows experience by allowing them to change their device and keep their experience. With UE-V it doesn’t matter if they are using a locally installed desktop or a desktop hosted in the datacenter using VDI, a physically installed or virtually deployed application.

The UE-V RC provides performance improvements such as the ability to process settings packages concurrently. This helps your settings get applied quicker and speeds up application launch. There are also refinements to some of the settings locations templates for Office 2010, making them more accurate in which files and registry keys to roam. For example, the new templates will capture the position and size of the Office application windows on the desktop. These updated Office templates also fixed some settings that were not roaming, such as if the page navigation check box in Microsoft Publisher. We also included support for Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8 RTM, since we know some of you have downloaded it from the Volume License Service Center (VLSC), TechNet Professional Subscription, or MSDN Subscription, or are using the 90 day evaluation. The UE-V RC also includes a few new features that we heard you wanted based on conversations at TechEd North America and Europe, and submissions to the Connect feedback page.

One of the new features I want to highlight is the ability to manage synchronization using security groups. While there are a lot of scenarios where you want the user’s experience to roam (using a VDI desktop when you travel to another office, getting a new desktop as part of your PC refresh cycle, etc.), you told us that there are a few scenarios where you don’t want a user to roam their settings. For example, let’s say you have a set of users who use mandatory profiles but occasionally there are other users who use the same machines that need to have their experience roam with UE-V. To do this with UE-V beta 2, it was very difficult and required the creation of two different group policy objects to enable. We heard your request that UE-V should be easier to control on a per-user basis to enable scenarios like this. Therefore, we created a new group policy to enable or disable UE-V. This policy allows you to use security groups to control who it applies to, ultimately giving you control over which users have the ability to roam their experience. Below is a screenshot of the new policy.

UEVGP

We also enabled you to control the synchronization via PowerShell and at install time via command line parameters. The PowerShell cmdlet gives you another option if you choose not to use group policy, or if you just want a quick way to configure one off machines. To disable UE-V for the current user on the machine, the cmdlet you can use is:

Set-UevConfiguration –CurrentComputerUser –DisableSync

You can also use the following cmdlet to disable UE-V for all users on the computer:

Set-UevConfiguration –Computer –DisableSync

If on install you want to disable UE-V, which comes in handy if you want to only control enabling UE-V in your organization via Group Policy, provide the switch:

SyncEnabled=False

In addition to this, there is good news for those of you who have been using the second beta of UE-V. With the UE-V RC there is no need to do a fresh install as you have the ability to do an in-place upgrade to the RC version. We did this to help you easily migrate to the UE-V RC. For those of you new to UE-V who want to learn more about it and how to deploy it, check out overview and deployment videos on the UE-V Springboard page.

We have also heard your request to know more as to when UE-V will be available. UE-V will be available for your production deployments in Q4 2012 as part of the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) 2012 release.

Thanks for joining us on the journey developing UE-V and providing feedback along the way. We really appreciate it and look forward to getting you the final version in the next few months.