Kidaro Buy Latest in Microsoft’s Virtualization Plan

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is buying desktop virtualization software maker Kidaro in a move to incorporate the smaller firm’s technology into a key enterprise tool suite.

The purchase marks the latest step in Microsoft’s aims to weave the benefits of virtualization throughout its enterprise offerings.

“Kidaro is an important component of our virtualization strategy, and it delivers a powerful new tool to help enterprise customers optimize their desktops,” Shanen Boettcher, general manager of Windows product management, said in a statement.

The the software colossus plans to use Kidaro’s technology — which enables enterprise data and applications to run within a virtualized machine — to beef up the popular Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) for Software Assurance customers, according to a Microsoft statement.

Software Assurance is a Microsoft subscription program that, among other things, provides customers with access to software updates.

MDOP offers a set of add-on management tools for Windows Vista Enterprise, which includes Softgrid application virtualization, advanced group policy management, diagnostics and recovery tools, error monitoring and asset tracking.

Adding Kidaro’s technology to MDOP would accelerate Windows Vista deployments, simplify deployment of managed virtual PCs to Windows desktops and reduce IT investment in desktop image management, Microsoft said in a statement.

Microsoft has not yet said precisely how Kidaro’s technologies will fit into MDOP, or when it will make its debut as part of the package.

However, the company did provide a few details regarding its plans for the acquired technology.

“We’ll be shipping this solution under the name Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization within MDOP,” the company said in a posting on its Windows Virtualization Team Blog Wednesday. The posting also said Kidaro’s product is built on Microsoft’s own Virtual PC technology.

Microsoft, and indeed the whole industry, have focused increasingly on virtualization within recent years, as the move toward greater manageability and consolidation of applications onto fewer and fewer servers has taken hold.

For instance, Windows Server 2008, which began shipping last month, will provide low-level virtualization support on the server when its Hyper-V hypervisor ships in six months.

The virtualization provided in the MDOP management suite, however, is currently directed toward application virtualization. With the addition of Kidaro to the toolset, that will also expand to cover the desktop user environment.

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