Thursday, January 22, 2009

Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization runs incompatible applications on Windows Vista


Application incompatibility is a serious issue with Windows Vista, with many developers just refusing to release updated versions of their software that run on the Vista operating system. In a bid to address this issue, Microsoft has released a beta version of a tool called the Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V), that allows users to run legacy Windows applications not compatible with Windows Vista.

MED-V, which is build upon Virtual PC 2007, creates a transparent virtual machine running a legacy Windows version and uses this virtual layer to run the legacy applications. The MED-V application seamlessly integrates the application running on the legacy OS with the user's main desktop. MED-V integrates Start menu options, notification tray icons, clipboard sharing and file system interoperability between the virtual machine (VM) and the local OS. Unknown to the user, the legacy application that looks to be running on the desktop, is actually running on the VM and not on their local OS. The only hint to the user that the application is running in a different environment is that the application will use the theme of Windows XP or Win2K VM instead of the Windows Vista theme.


Image courtesy:

MED-V handles not only the integration of legacy applications and the local OS but also provides the mechanism to store and distribute VM images, provides image updating, and implements policies about what data can be transferred between the VM and the local desktop and the length of time the virtual image can be used.

MED-V integrates with Internet Explorer and can be configured to automatically redirect certain URLs entered on the local PC to a legacy IE version running in the VM. This redirection is intended to solve problems with websites that aren't compatible with the latest Internet Explorer browser. However, the actual situation with most sites is the other way round.

The revolutionary MED-V technology is currently only planned to be supported on Vista and XP 32-bit platforms and will be available as part of Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) in the first half of 2009.

Register at and download the beta software.

[via Windows ITPro]


  1. A really interesting green computer technology I found is Userful Multiplier. It's where multiple people can use the same computer at the same time each with their own monitor, mouse and keyboard. This saves a lot of electricity and e-waste. A company called Userful recently set a virtualization world record by delivering over 350,000 virtual desktops to schools in Brazil. They have a free 2-user version for home use too. Check it out:

  2. Looks like something in the line of Thin Client. Thanks for the info, though.


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