I remember the first time I saw a virtual machine running. It was many years ago on a early version of VMware. My reaction was WOW! I immediately recognised the problems it could solve and the opportunities virtualisation could provide.

Think about virtualisation at the next level ... what if we were able to virtualise an application?

That is, introduce an abstraction between applications and the OS so that an application and its associated files, registry setting, fonts, .ini files, COM objects,  services were virtualised and we could provision this application on demand when the user wanted to run the application without actually installing it on the machine it runs on

If we had a strategy to run an application on a computer without actually installing it? I'm not talking about Terminal Services! Not Click-Once! Not Citrix!

Softricity is a company that Microsoft acquired about 7 weeks ago and it purports to do some pretty nifty things.

SoftGrid is the engine that provides applications to the desktop on demand using a centralised policy. It takes the virtualised application that has been packaged as a "flat file" and "streams" what is required down to the client.

It takes virtualisation to the next logical level:

VirtualApplications

 (Hey this is a blog, not a formal publication.  Quick Tablet PC sketches just seemed like the right thing to do...)

 

I'd heard of Softricity and its was explained to me briefly but it wasn't until I went to a Softricity presentation and did a bit more digging into it that I realised how innovative a leap this is and how many real life scenarios and challenges this can address for organisations:

  • Reduce application management costs
  • Centralise Application availability
  • Better enable roaming users  
  • Simplify and accelerate application and OS migration
  • Assist in Server consolidation
  • Reduce help desk calls

Any application on any computer on demand via the network ...

I'd better stop here, this is beginning to sound like a product pitch.

Ron Jacobs has done an Arcast on the subject or visit the Softricity site if you'd like to learn more.