Microsoft acquires virtualization pooling firm Kidaro

An existing tool which enables pools of users to share a single desktop from any location, and individuals' desktops to be centralized through servers and distributed to thinner clients, will become part of Microsoft's growing virtualization arsenal.

The strategy Microsoft has taken with regard to virtualization technology has been to be able to offer corporate clients and Windows Server customers at least one option in each category. In recent months, a new option for virtualization has emerged: the ability for a server to host a single desktop that can be pooled and run by multiple clients, from any remote client.

Certainly, Microsoft wanted to be on top of that option too; and in classic Microsoft tradition, it acquired it outright. This afternoon, the company announced its acquisition of Kidaro, which makes a desktop virtualization tool (as opposed to an OS virtualization system) that will become absorbed into Windows Optimized Desktop for the Enterprise.

"Desktop virtualization enables encapsulation of an entire desktop -- operating system, applications, tools and data -- into a virtual machine that can operate as an isolated workspace on any computing platform," reads a description on Kitaro's Web site. "Desktop virtualization can enable a wide variety of benefits, including simplified desktop management, improved security, hardware independence, improved application compatibility, and enhanced mobility."

"With these technologies companies can create a flexible desktop environment - one where users can log on to any managed PC connected to the corporate network and have the same familiar environment and access to applications and data, while enabling IT departments to reduce costs and deliver applications and data services that are compliant with their data security and regulatory requirements," reads a blog post this afternoon from Shanen Boettcher, General Manager of Windows Product Management for enterprises.

SoftGrid is a similar tool which Microsoft acquired a few years ago; its function is to make individual applications virtualized, so that they can be run from Windows desktops without having to be installed on those systems locally. After a slow start, SoftGrid has become one of the more popular components in Microsoft's regular set of Windows enhancements for business customers.

Microsoft did not give any timetable for when it would complete the incorporation of Kidaro's products in its Windows tools and enhancements, though given its prior experience with SoftGrid, the company may have learned that sooner is better than later.

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