Microsoft created the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) in 2006 as a home for four acquired technologies including Softgrid’s application virtualization, but oddly delivered it only as a perk for System Assurance customers which as a rule are the larger enterprises. Apparently, Microsoft feels that the virtualization portion is the real draw and last week they announced that they are adding the desktop virtualization technologies they acquired with Kidaro and renaming MDOP as Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization:
We’ve invested over $400 million in developing and expanding MDOP thus far, and I’m very excited to share with you that we have officially finalized the acquisition of Kidaro Technologies, whose products enable a seamless combination of applications running from within both a host and guest OS. This technology will help enable end users to run applications from multiple versions of Windows at the same time, with seamless windowing and menus, and without the confusion of logging into and seeing multiple virtual machine desktops. The product teams are working closely with our new colleagues from Kidaro to incorporate the desktop virtualization technologies into MDOP in the first half of 2009, under the new product name Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization. We will continue investing here because we know manageability is fundamental to broad corporate use of desktop virtualization.
We’ve sold over 6.5 million licenses of MDOP to date, making it the fastest-selling volume licensing product in Microsoft history. It’s worth noting that 60 percent of IT Pros who are familiar with MDOP have told us they intend to deploy MDOP within the next 12 months.
While all this is undoubtedly a technological tour de force, one can’t help wonder if the advent of Web apps with better quality user interfaces obviates the need for elaborate virtualization lashups to run desktop applications from multiple managed PCs. Still, there are plenty of legacy Windows apps, particularly in large enterprises, where Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MEDV) may still be the way to go at least for a while.