Told Ya So - Virtualization On The Desktop

I hate to say I told you so, but, I told you so. It was so gratifying reading John Fontanta's guest blog post about the editors meeting with Shanen Boettcher, GM of Windows product management. Shanen gave the nod to what I've been say for months about where Live Mesh was heading. (I called it Microsoft Mesh until it was named by Microsoft). I've been speculating about what Windows 7 might be, and debunking the myth that its about saving face for Vista. While I may or may not be right about if it comes in Windows 7 or not, the key to Microsoft's move into SaaS and cloud services is virtualizing applications at the desktop OS.

Here's an excerpt from my post, Live Mesh and Windows 7 Revealed.

Very little is around to say exactly what the 2010 shipping Windows 7 will be but my bet is that Windows 7 will have two main goals.

First, Windows 7 will bring some form of application virtualization and web delivered applications through IE 8 to the desktop. Microsoft has got to do this to start to move its Office software into the cloud and rewriting Office as web apps won't be an easy task. Silverlight, Hyper-V and IE 8 have to mature further. 2010 provides some time for that to happen. I think Windows 7 will be the update to Vista that puts these technologies to work for Microsoft's own applications. Windows 7 won't be a Vista replacement, but an upgrade to Vista. Sorry Vista bashers, you're going to be using Vista even with Windows 7. Second, Windows 7 will drive elements of Live Mesh back into components that ship with Microsoft's operating system, just like Microsoft's done with so many other technologies.

Here's my thoughts on what kind of desktop operating system is needed in the world of Mesh, from my blog post, Microsoft Mesh Could End Windows OS As We Know It.

But think about the role the Windows desktop operating system plans in Microsoft's future... the Microsoft Mesh future. My research and analysis of Mesh leads me to believe Microsoft's is fundamentally shifting today's software products from traditional monolithic software applications, to web service enabled and virtualized application components that can live on the desktop (not installed into the OS, but as a virtualized application components running on the desktop), application elements streamed across the network, and/or applications which live entirely in the cloud -- all from the same product software, delivered to the end user in the form they want to use the software...

...In the Microsoft Mesh environment of application virtualization and disaggregate application software, Window Mesh OS is really an OS platform hosting virtualized application components, web and SilverLight distributed applications, app component caching and distribution, and data synchronization. Gone are the monolithic software apps that statically consume disk space and entangle themselves in the Windows registry...

The Kidaro desktop virtualization acquisition back in March 07 also plays right into the new Microsoft OS, as I talked about in the blog post, Kidaro Acquisition Shot Across The Bow At Citrix Xen.

Kidaro is to virtualization what Citrix has been to shared application servers. Kidaro is all about creating virtual images that can be centrally managed and then downloaded onto end users machines...

...Kidaro also fits nicely into Ray Ozzie's Microsoft Mesh strategy too. The underlying virtualization technology from Kidaro can greatly aid Microsoft's vision to deliver applications that run as embedded apps installed on the OS (but may only "lightly" installed with Kidaro as the underpinnings)...

And here were some of my thoughts before Ozzie's talk at MIX08 about what I thought Mesh meant in a world of application software living in the cloud. While I don't mention desktop virtualization, I think you can see some of the underpinnings that support later speculation about application virtualization. Check out the post, What Microsoft Mesh Means To You. This was one of my first posts about Mesh, where I finally got up enough nerve to share my thoughts about what Mesh might be.

Finally, here are a couple of posts about virtualization on the desktop, Desktop Races Towards Virtualization and Virtualization Series: Interview with Virtualization Expert Mark Russinovich.

The next wave of the virtualization tsunami though is on the desktop, followed by the network....Calista addresses a different aspect of application virtualization: performance...Expect to see more and more about application virtualization in the coming months. The industry is racing to capture the desktop in a whole new virtualized way.

...By managing client options (as Mark describes it), I believe this plays well in to Citrix' strategy with Xen, virtual desktop images can be centrally managed and distributed to client machines, creating a virtual desktop operating on whatever computer that end user is using...

Okay, I'll stop gloating now. It just feels so great to know that something you believed deeply actually is coming true in reality. Thanks for reading and hearing my ideas.

Like this? Here are some of Mitchell's recent posts.

1 for 1 with Vista SP1

Shutting Down The "Bill" Syndrome

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Mitchell's Hottest Blog Posts: Google Scoops Microsoft-Delivers Mesh FirstHyper-V Leaves Linux Out In The Cold, Apple Fixes Open Source Vulnerabilities, What Microsoft Mesh Means To You, Apple iPhone Doomed To Failure.

Check out Mitchell's Converging On Microsoft Podcast. Current Podcast Episode: Security Mike Gets Serious About Security

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