XP mode and MED-V no longer require hardware virtualization

by Shijaz Abdulla on 18.03.2010 at 22:55

I’d like to share some exciting news about Windows XP Mode and Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization.  The team is removing the virtualization processor requirement for Windows XP Mode on Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Ultimate systems.  Windows XP Mode continues to use hardware virtualization such as Intel Virtualization Technology (Intel® VT) or the AMD-V™ chipset when available but it no longer requires them. 

Microsoft has released an update that enables PCs without hardware virtualization to also take advantage of Windows XP Mode.  This change simplifies the customer experience and makes this benefit accessible to many more PCs.

Enterprise customers should consider using Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V), part of the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack for Software Assurance.  MED-V provides deployment and manageability features which are designed to address the needs of enterprise customers.

When will this happen?

The removal of this requirement has been publicly announced today, March 18th 2010 with the update available on the Windows XP Mode download page at the same time. 

How does this impact MED-V?

MED-V 1.0 SP1 builds on Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 to help enterprises with their upgrade to Windows Vista and Windows 7 when applications are not yet compatible. 

MED-V 1.0 SP1 does not require hardware virtualization.

The user experience provided by MED-V is similar to “Windows XP mode” – even though a different virtualization technology is used.

MED-V 2.0 will leverage Windows Virtual PC and will benefit from the update above. Availability date for MED-V 2.0 is yet to be announced.

[ Read the press release ]

MED-V 1.0 is here!

by Shijaz Abdulla on 11.04.2009 at 12:34

Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V) version 1.0 is now available to Software Assurance (SA) customers who have purchased MDOP (Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack) benefit.

MED-V is not available as a standalone product and is exclusively available as one of the six tools included in the MDOP.

MED-V bridges the application compatibility gap between current versions of Windows and legacy Windows-based applications by allowing enterprises to move desktops completely to newer versions of Windows.

For end-users: MED-V provides seamless integration of applications running in virtual machines with the host OS to provide for a unified desktop experience.  Legacy applications that are incompatible with newer versions of Windows will run off a Virtual PC, running a legacy Windows version. All this is seamless to the user; the user merely opens the application from the Start menu of the host OS.

For enterprise administrators: MED-V provides deployment and management of virtual desktops to enable key enterprise scenarios. The Virtual PC images and any updates can be distributed efficiently over the network using an advanced de-duplication technology.

MED-V vs. App-V

Desktop virtualization enabled by MED-V, isn’t the same as application virtualization. Desktop virtualization addresses the incompatibility between an application and the operating system.

Application virtualization enabled by App-V, deals with the incompatibility between two applications. It lets the two apps run on the same operating system in isolation – in a virtualized runtime environment. Microsoft App-V, which is also part of MDOP, enables this application virtualization.

MED-V essentially helps IT pros upgrade the Windows OS without interrupting the flow of business. The benefits of MED-V 1.0 include:

  • Central creation, deployment and updating of PC images throughout the enterprise;
  • Provisioning virtual images and user policies by business affiliation and requirements;
  • Accelerating OS upgrades; and
  • Simplifying IT integration by allowing two IT environments to run concurrently.

TechNet/MSDN subscribers can evaluate MED-V 1.0. Software Assurance customers can get it on the MVLS website.