I visited the Installfree booth at VMWorld today and they seemed very excited to meet me. Apparently, Installfree got some very positive feedback from people who read the application virtualization comparison chart I created with Matthijs Haverink. Now it looks like we have to update the chart with some new features that are not in the list write now and that competitors don’t have. These features will be announced tomorrow with but you read it first on virtualfuture.info!
The release is scheduled for next week. (I spoke to Installfree today again, and the told me there will be a minor version update release next week, the features mentioned below are not in there yet. At least not the selfencapsulator).
First of all, it is possible to give administrators different permissions on managing the applications. It is also possible to set policies on the applications. Finally, they showed an awesome feature: they showed me something called: selfencapsulation. Selfencapsulation allows users to create virtual applications on a locked down desktop. The virtualized application is then uploaded to the server. After that, the administrator can decide if the user is allowed to use the self-created application or not. The adminstrator can also put the application in the repository, so it can be used by other users.
In the demo, installfree showed a locked down desktop where a user has no rights to install software. The user then installs Skype and what actually happens is that Skype is not installed on the desktop, but in the encapsulator. After that, he showed how an administrator can disable skype for that user, or even put it in the repository and give other users the right to use Skype.
Great news, because now administrators can give users a locked down desktop, virtualized applications streamed from the datacenter, so the OS stays clean. But even though the user has a locked down desktop, the user still has the freedom of installing applications (by virtualizing them). And even though the user can install software by themself, the administrator have the control to allow or disallow the use of applications installed by the users themself. Watch the video and see for yourself: