Today we made a fairly subtle announcement around a little utility due to release later this calendar year which I think many customers looking at application virtualization options (i.e. SoftGrid) are really going to find awesome. We have gone public with our plans to offer a utility which will allow you to convert existing or new sequenced applications into MSI packages which require no SoftGrid server infrastructure to deploy or run. In short, you will be able to create and deploy SoftGrid virtualized applications without having to be tehered to ANY SoftGrid infrastructure whatsoever. This announcement is somewhat buried in the PressPass found here.
Particularly, this section:
The Windows Installer Utility for Microsoft Application Virtualization, which will be available later this year, will extend the benefits of SoftGrid technology by transforming existing and future SoftGrid virtual application assets into a standardized format for Microsoft Windows Installer (MSI). We expect this MSI Utility to be available for download before the end of the year. Customers will be able to use our MSI utility with any electronic software distribution application — including Microsoft Systems Management Server, System Center Configuration Manager and third-party systems — to deliver their virtual applications just like they deliver installed applications. This means organizations can begin accruing the benefits of virtualized applications right away on their current infrastructure while future-proofing their investment in SoftGrid technology. This continues our approach of managing physical and virtual — in this case, applications — from the same management platform.
So if you ever wanted to be able to deploy virtualized application without having to go through the fuss of building out SoftGrid servers, your day will arrive very soon!
So this will be a standalone utility for the desktop? Will this help users keep the registry clean and try apps which they'll be uninstalling later? I also heard about a desktop version of SoftGrid in the works. Is this the same?
So with this utility, you can provide virtualized apps to desktops with the SoftGrid client installed that has no configuration to talk to a backend SoftGrid Server - so in other words, yes, this gives you all the benefits of virtualizing the app from the OS (registry, files system, etc. remains clean). You will lose the ability to stream the app, assign access permissions to users of the desktop (all users will be able to run the app once deployed), and enforce/monitor usage as there is not softGrid Server to orchestrate any of this. Thus, this solution is perfect for situations where you just want to offer virtual applications in a 'stand alone' way...