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Last week, I attended the Microsoft Management Summit (MMS) in Las Vegas. It was a great chance to escape from Redmond and catch up with customers and partners, and enjoy some good conversations. I appreciated the opportunity to meet many of you – new and familiar faces - during the numerous sessions and networking events. I started off the week by delivering the “Microsoft Desktop Virtualization: The Right Technology for Your Business Scenario” session. Thanks to those who helped make the session an energetic discussion covering topics such as the role desktop virtualization can play in solving some of your business challenges, as well as a practical guide to selecting the right technology for your project. And, of course, I love getting the direct feedback about Windows 7 and Microsoft desktop virtualization technologies. As I sat down to write this post, I thought about your comments at MMS. Glancing at my notes, here are two topics there were top of mind with you.
Thin is “In” Especially When it Comes to Getting More Life out of Computers that You Already Own
Last month, we blogged about an upcoming community technology preview (CTP) for Windows Thin PC, which is a locked down version of Windows 7 designed to help repurpose existing PCs as thin clients extending the life of existing hardware. As a follow-on to the CTP post I also discussed ways to think about thin clients in your environment when using server based desktops and applications. Throughout MMS, I heard many customers express interest in this technology and ask about the timing of the Windows Thin PC CTP.
As planned, we are happy to announce that the Windows Thin PC public CTP is now available! Although the final release of Windows Thin PC will be provided as a benefit for Software Assurance customers, we heard feedback that you wanted us to broaden the access of the CTP, so we’re pleased to announce that this CTP is public and therefore available for all customers to evaluate. UPDATE: Please note -To download the public CTP of Windows Thin PC you must first register on the Microsoft Connect site homepage.
For those who have been following our updates, this CTP version includes some new features which we had not previously talked about:
1) RemoteFX support for a richer, higher fidelity hosted desktop experience.
2) Support for System Center Configuration Manager, to help deploy and manage WinTPC images.
3) Write filter support helps prevent user and application writes to disk, thereby improving security at the end point
More information and resources can be found on the CTP download site, and as always we encourage you to install the preview and send us feedback via the tools on the Microsoft Connect site.
Turns out, You Think Package Accelerators are Cool Too
It was invigorating to see the level of excitement for application virtualization Package Accelerators. I talked to one customer in particular who stated “I love the Package Accelerators. The UI is slick. I can’t wait to get back from MMS and try it out this weekend. Very cool.” Additionally, other customers had similar comments about how Package Accelerators can speed up the application virtualization process and help make their move to Windows 7 all the easier.
For those of you not yet familiar with our Package Accelerators, let me share a few resources with you along with a quick overview. The Package Accelerator gallery is a site you may want to bookmark, as it is a full gallery of readily available accelerators contributed from Microsoft and MVPs.
The idea around these Package Accelerators is to help simplify and streamline the process of virtualizing apps for IT Professionals who want to deliver App-V benefits to their business users sooner. As discussed earlier this month during the Desktop Virtualization Customer Roundtable event, speeding up the creation of virtualized apps is a priority for many companies.
Similar to the deployment of business applications in a traditional environment, virtual applications also require some preparation before publishing. This task may not seem too daunting but if you consider the fact that a typical enterprise can have 3,000 or more apps in their environment, the time can really add up.
We’ve delivered tools like the Application Virtualization Sequencer which speeds up the process for IT Pro’s to virtualize applications. We challenged ourselves to do more here since we heard from you that you wanted a way to virtualize apps once and capture those steps as a repeatable process or service available to your organization and we’re doing that through Package Accelerators.
We invite you to take advantage of the Package Accelerators already published for your use, as well as make your own contributions. Once you’ve created an App-V Package, it’s simple to create an App-V Package Accelerator using the Microsoft Application Virtualization Sequencer. Continue to visit the gallery site and watch for new accelerators to be added.
MMS is over but our We have More to Discuss, More to Do….
I truly enjoyed the conversations we had at MMS and wished we had time for more. Now back at the office, my team and I were talking about which Package Accelerators we should create next. So, I should simply ask YOU this question. Which application do you want to be “Package Accelerator’ed” next? Tell us what we should put at the top of our priority list. Lend your vote in the comments section of this blog. Thanks, in advance, for the continued feedback. I look forward to seeing many of you this May at TechEd, along with a chance to see a bit of sun to offset the infamous Seattle gray skies.
Karri - Can you help me? I've been trying to get to someone in the Windows 7 product group to exhibit at our Technology and Office Practice Conference and put on a seminar regarding the decision for Windows 7, when it would be good to make it; Smart phones (like the WP7) and how they can enhance your efficiency and productivity, Use of multiple screens for more effective multi-tasking, etc. Our 21,000 members are basically tax return preparers and they need help getting into the 21st Century! You know how hard it is to find a warm body to talk to within Microsoft? One of your fellow workers suggested I try a blog in Windows 7, so here I am. Can you network me to someone I can talk to about this? I've called Tiffany Price in Las Vegas several times with no luck. Help!
fyi, I've successfully tested WinTPC with the latest version of Double-Take Flex (v3.3) and its new Provisioning Wizard. Shared read-only WinTPC installations can be provisioned direct to iSCSI for diskless boot from SAN with about 5 clicks...
@Cinq - Ah, tax preparers. In another life, I've spoken to CalCPA and other accounting organizations - but that's no longer my station. Tiffany is an enterprise salesperson for specific named casinos in Vegas & Karri is a director of product mgmt in Redmond so I don't think either are going to be able to address your situation. Contact me at 87h9cco6yyatmstechdote4warddotcom and I'll try putting you in touch with our regional marketing org. No promises but I'll try to at least get you moving in the right direction, 'kay?
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Hoping to make contact regarding a few matters of significant import.