VMware eases migration to Windows 7

ThinApp virtualization software gets upgraded

VMware has upgraded its ThinApp application virtualization software to enable migration of applications from older versions of Windows to Windows 7.

VMware ThinApp 4.5, announced Wednesday, is designed to reduce the amount of coding and testing needed to move applications to a new operating system while minimizing risk of downtime, VMware says.

FAQ: Desktop virtualization

Like most industry players, VMware is expecting Windows 7 to drive increasing virtualization of desktops and applications. Moving legacy apps to the new operating system will be difficult, and customers "are looking to use application virtualization to migrate or simplify the migration of existing applications to Windows 7," says Raj Mallempati, director of desktop product marketing for VMware.

ThinApp, a result of VMware's 2008 acquisition of application virtualization vendor Thinstall, packages an application and its settings into "a single executable [file] that is isolated from the OS," VMware explains. The packaged application includes registry keys, dynamic-link libraries and frameworks, while presenting a virtualized view of the application to a user. Applications can be deployed over the network or from a USB drive, allowing users to work on applications from various computers.

The technology is often run in conjunction with a server virtualization deployment, but it's not required, Mallempati says.

New features in ThinApp 4.5 include improved memory sharing between multiple instances of applications and reduced file page usage, reducing network bandwidth usage. In addition, registry transaction protection can "ensure registry file integrity and eliminate potential data corruption due to crash or system failure."

ThinApp starts at $5,000 for the software platform and 50 client licenses. Additional user licenses are $39 each.

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