Recently, Microsoft announced a new product in beta called User Experience Virtualization (UE-V short). With UE-V, App-V 5.0 will also go into beta.
Microsoft has been relying for years on roaming profiles to help end users with a consistent user experience on multiple devices. The drawbacks of this solution are well known: long logon times, last writer wins issues, profile corruption, inconsistency between OS versions etc.
We welcome Microsoft addressing the issue of roaming profiles. It validates the direction the desktop market is heading in: Workspace Management. This solution is, in our opinion, an important step for the market as a whole. The implementation of the product itself however received mixed reactions :
- Microsoft UE-V does not support Windows XP and will therefore not help you in your migration projects.
- Microsoft UE-V is not free. It is part of the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack. Software Assurance is needed to obtain this pack.
- Microsoft UE-V needs a template for each application in use. The Microsoft community will probably take care of the most common templates. For the other application in use within your organization, you need to create these templates yourself.
- Microsoft UE-V supports locally installed applications and App-V. Other application virtualization techniques are not supported.
The reaction from our customers supports that Scense Live Profiles continues to be value add specifically for it’s ease of use, self-learning mechanisms and support for XP. Most importantly is the recognition that the ability to roam user settings from device to device is just solving a tiny bit of the challenges related to Workspace Management, such as the requirement for applications to roam with the user as well as IT policies, desktop configurations, printers, network connections etc. and the need for context adaptiveness to enforce compliancy and improve the user experience.
We will off course continue to monitor the evolution of Microsoft UE-V and find ways to leverage its potential and use its functionality to improve our own offering.