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Softricity Updates SoftGrid – Delays Zero Touch

Softricity is shipping version 3.2 of its SoftGrid Windows application virtualization package.

SoftGrid provides a Windows application virtualization tool that turns applications from locally-installed programs into virtual services that are centrally managed and deployed on-demand to users. Applications are turned into data that can be delivered and run anywhere, independent of the infrastructure.

“We create a virtual copy of the operating environment so that everything is virtualized,” says David Greschler, Softricity’s co-founder and vice president of marketing. “It looks, breathes and acts like a locally-installed app.”

Version 3.2 features an enhanced “sequencer,” a wizard-based tool that packages and virtualizes applications for real-time delivery to users, then monitors and records all interactions between the application and the operating system during application installation and execution. The sequencer also creates a file optimized for efficient delivery.

“The sequencer is the heart of the platform – this version has a whole new sequencer that makes it much faster [by providing the ability to] almost automatically read in a [Windows Installer] MSI format file and virtualize it in real time.,” Greschler says. For instance, the updated sequencer can virtualize the entire Microsoft Office 2003 suite installation in less than 20 minutes, he adds.

It also adds the ability to make package upgrades on users’ machines, just sending “the bits that change instead of a whole new version of the application,” Greschler says.

Greschler also said that the company’s upcoming Zero Touch product for enabling users to self-provision their own applications, has been pushed back until later this quarter in order to add features requested by users when it went into beta test earlier in the year. Zero Touch was originally planned to ship during the second quarter.

SoftGrid costs $200 per user with a 20-user license minimum. Pricing for ZeroTouch will be announced when it ships.

About the Author

Stuart J. Johnston has covered technology, especially Microsoft, since February 1988 for InfoWorld, Computerworld, Information Week, and PC World, as well as for Enterprise Developer, XML & Web Services, and .NET magazines.

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