The results of my last poll are somewhat surprising. I asked if you plan to introduce an application virtualization solution in your organization. 69% of you responded with "yes." It appears that more admins than expected know about the benefits of application virtualization. However, one should know that the participation was lower than in my other polls.
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I admit that I only had a vague idea of application virtualization before I actually started testing different products. It was only when I saw how easy it is to virtualize applications that I became more interested in this technology. I suppose the relatively low poll participation can be explained by the fact that many admins don't really know what application virtualization is. Thus, they just ignored this poll when they stumbled across it. Perhaps if I had added a third possible answer like "I don't know," participation would have been higher.
The high number of positive answers can be explained in two ways. Among those who already had experience with application virtualization, the majority was convinced of its benefits. Another factor certainly was that I published a long series on this topic shortly before I ran the poll. Even though I also discussed the disadvantages of application virtualization, my overall assessment of this technology was positive. I guess if someone with a more critical attitude had written these articles the poll result would have been different.
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Nevertheless, 69% can't be explained away. I do believe that application virtualization will find its way into many corporate networks and the public Internet. I even think that virtualized Windows applications are an alternative to Web apps and RIAs (Rich Internet Applications) as well. Perhaps Microsoft should have focused on this technology instead of Silverlight. From the user's perspective, it doesn't make a difference whether a RIA or a virtualized Windows app is streamed to the desktop. However, the advantage of application virtualization is that almost every existing Windows application could be transformed easily into an online application.