Microsoft Acquires PC Virtualization Specialist Kidaro

Thursday, March 13, 2008

In a move to strengthen its virtualization portfolio, Microsoft said today that it intends to buy four-year-old Israeli virtualization company Kidaro for an undisclosed sum.  Though Microsoft already has a product, Virtual PC, for desktop virtualization, it is unmanaged.  That makes it a hard sell to big businesses.  Kidaro acts as a management infrastructure for Virtual PC, including a small client-based add-on that allows Virtual PCs to be managed.  Microsoft will add Kidaro’s desktop virtualization capabilities into Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP), a set of desktop management tools for businesses.  The Kidaro technology would allow administrators to manage deployment, operation, and security of virtual desktops.  Businesses would typically use Kidaro with Virtual PC to access legacy applications that are no longer compatible with current operating systems…..Virtual PC can currently only be loaded in full, so that a user loading it up would see the full version of Windows 95 or some other operating system open inside a window.  But Kidaro makes it possible to deliver only a single application that can be loaded like any other.  Kidaro is currently also able to manage VMWare virtual desktops, and while Microsoft said it will continue to be able to do so, it’s unclear whether that capability will continued to be developed since Microsoft’s intentions for Kidaro seem Windows-centric…..One of the main goals of Microsoft’s application and desktop virtualization strategy is to push toward giving enterprise users access to their data wherever they are, even if they don’t have access to their own corporate laptop.  In that case, Kidaro also offers the capability to deliver a virtual image of an operating system via a USB key or a DVD, which would install the client and connect to the server-based management infrastructure upon being connected to the computer.

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