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Microsoft SoftGrid is a Go!


Microsoft’s acquisition of Softricity is complete!   Softricity is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft!   Now that the required “blackout” time period is behind them, the Microsoft and the Softricity visionaries can start to plan for the future integration of Softricity’s technologies into Longhorn, Vista, System Center, Terminal Services, Visual Studios, and beyond.    This is a good day in the application deployment, management and monitoring world, and one to remember!

As I wrote in my May 22nd article on Microsoft’s intent to acquire ( Microsoft Acquires Softricity Application Virtualization Company ) with the acquisition of Softricity, Microsoft now has the core technology that will allow them to change the way IT deploys, manages, and monitors applications.  Not just desktop apps either, but in the future we can start to think big.   Think about a day when we run numerous  virtualized copies of any server-side application independently  from each other on the same server without the need for technologies like VMware.  It is about being one step closer in Microsoft’s goal of shipping software as a service,  and it is about a day when you receive a copy of Office, or your favorite app, as a sequenced application that just needs to be copied to a server or workstation and run from anywhere, requiring zero install and/or regression testing.  This is about reducing the complexity and expense of IT.  The bar has just been set for all other application deployment, management and monitoring solutions out there, and ones that will come in the future.  They need to meet this zero install, zero regression testing and reduced cost of deployment standard that SoftGrid sets in order to be a valid competitor.  This is exciting.  This will change the way we compute!!!

The key thing to note about this announcement is that things are back on track at Softricity.  There will be no pause and Softricity’s technologies will NOT be “parted out” and thrown away, as some of you said in the comments section of my previous article on this acquisition.   Microsoft “gets it”. They truly understand that this is not a technology buy, but a company buy, and one that will help take them in the direction of the next generation of application deployment and management.   That is the best part of this story: This is not another Connectix – they are starting off on the right foot with this one.

Microsoft also announced they would be reducing the price of Softricity. In the words of someone close to the deal, “We want to get SoftGrid in the hands of all our customers”.    They will also be releasing SoftGrid’s previously “for price”  add-on products, Zero Touch and the SMS Connector, as a free download.   Zero Touch allows customer’s end-users to self provision applications along with giving IT control over all the business logic required for this task.  It also allows IT to define rules for application access to applications on desktops and Terminal Servers.   The SMS Connector allows Microsoft SMS customers the ability to overcome issues with application conflicts by streaming and/or pre-caching SoftGrid enabled applications through SMS.    This is a great news and only goes to raise that bar a bit higher as Microsoft SoftGrid customers are not required to purchase additional add-on products to complete the vision of the solution they have already paid for.

In my humble opinion, this is a great day and this is great news. My dream of a day when all applications can just be coded, copied and executed is one step closer to becoming a reality!

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