Microsoft Readying Releases of IE 9, MED-V, Opalis and CRM 2011
Microsoft this week provided notice of some upcoming product updates and betas to expect in the coming months.
Forthcoming products include Version 2 of MED-V Service Pack 1, an update to Opalis 6.2.2, a beta of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 and a beta of Internet Explorer 9. In addition, Microsoft made the beta of Service Pack 1 for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 more broadly available by releasing it at the Microsoft Download Center. It was originally released last month.
Internet Explorer 9 Beta
On Thursday, Microsoft indicated that the IE 9 beta will get its launch at a marketing event in San Francisco on Sept. 15. Presumably, the new browser beta will be broadly available to the public at that time. The fourth platform preview of IE 9 was released earlier this month but it lacks features and security controls. The beta version will be a fully functional browser.
Microsoft has been heavily promoting IE 9 as a browser that will comply with cutting-edge developing standards, such as HTML 5 and CSS 3. It will also tap graphics processing unit hardware in devices to accelerate graphics performance. The key word for Microsoft is that IE 9 will enable "native" browser support for video and two-dimensional graphics.
The main catch is that IE 9 currently runs on Windows Vista and Windows 7. Microsoft has announced that there will be no Windows XP support for this browser.
MED-V Service Pack 1 Version 2
Organizations that still depend on Windows XP-based legacy applications will be happy to know that Microsoft is preparing to release Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization (MED-V) SP1 Version 2 sometime in the fourth quarter of this year. The current release is Version 1. MED-V is only available as part of Microsoft's volume licensing program with the Software Assurance option.
Version 2 of MED-V SP1 will feature a more seamless experience for end users, making the virtualized desktop apps feel more native, while also enhancing IT administrator controls, according to Briton Zurcher, a product manager on Microsoft's MED-V team. Version 2 will ship with Windows Virtual PC, replacing Virtual PC 2007 in the current release.
MED-V SP1 Version 2 will let users of virtual machine applications save their documents to the base document-folder of Windows 7. It will also let IT pros specify certain URLs for viewing in IE 6, enabling compatibility, Zurcher explained in a Microsoft TechNet sneak peek video.
Opalis 6.2.2 Update
Microsoft is planning to release an update to Opalis 6.2.2 in the fourth quarter of this year. Opalis is an automated management and orchestration platform for controlling services accessed in a datacenter that works with Microsoft's System Center product line. Microsoft acquired the technology back in December.
The next release of Opalis mostly will extend support to Microsoft's current client and server operating systems, but it will also add support for Windows Server 2003 Service Pack 2 (x86 version). In addition, Microsoft plans to release four new "Integration Packs" for System Center products.
"These new Integration Packs, combined with the existing Operations Manager pack provide a complete solution for building and enabling the Dynamic Datacenter," explained Adam Hall, senior technical product manager for Microsoft System Center. He lists the Integration Packs and describes the coming OS support for Opalis in a blog post here.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Beta
Microsoft plans to release a beta of its fifth-generation customer relationship management solution in September of this year, which will be called "Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011." The product is currently at the Community Technology Preview 3 testing phase.
CRM 2011 will have business intelligence improvements, SharePoint integration and a data handling capability that's more like Outlook, as described last month. Microsoft has been working to enable Windows Workflow Foundation 4.0 capabilities in CRM 2011, as described in this video.
Kurt Mackie is online news editor for the 1105 Enterprise Computing Group.