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New Microsoft tool maintains Windows user settings in virtual environments

Microsoft virtual Windows environments need not require a lot of manual configuration to customize applications and update operating system preferences each time users log in thanks to a product being added to the Microsoft toolbox.

The new product is called User Experience Virtualization or UE-V and it maintains records of users’ settings and configurations so whether they log in via virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) or Remote Desktop Services (RDS), their Windows 7 or 8 operating system and application settings will appear as they were customized.

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Before, whenever users logged in from different machines they would have to manually configure the settings and select the options they prefer. These preferences can be shared among virtual and traditional application deployment, Microsoft says.

The goal of UE-V is to make users’ experiences uniform no matter how they connect to virtual platforms. So if a worker generally uses a desktop at a corporate site but sometimes logs in from home, the virtual desktop and application settings will be the same regardless, down to details like the wallpaper picture.

The upside for businesses is that users spend no time configuring the machines to their preferences so they are ready to be as productive as possible immediately upon booting up, Microsoft says.

UE-V will be available through Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) when that is ready.

Another component of MDOP called App-V has been upgraded to Version 5.0, adding the ability to make better use of disk space in virtual environments.

App-V is Microsoft’s virtualization and streaming platform that deploys apps from a virtual application server.  The application can be streamed to the client or it can be stored locally from the server. Remote machines run an App-V client which creates a sandbox so any locally stored applications don’t make changes to the registry or file system.

New with Version 5.0 is the ability to stream applications and block storing them locally to fit better into virtual desktop deployments. With VDI there is no locally stored application, which reduces disk requirements for VDI, Microsoft says.

The new version adds a Web-based management interface so administrators can service applications without management software installed on their machines.

App-V 5.0 supports Windows 7 and Windows 8.

Read more about software in Network World's Software section.

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