Microsoft, SoftGrid To Centralize App Management - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


Microsoft, SoftGrid To Centralize App Management

Server-based apps can be streamed to desktops rather than stored on PCs.

A deal between Microsoft and 4-year-old software developer Softricity Inc. could make it easier for IT administrators to manage desktop apps from a single station. IT staff must in some cases keep track of hundreds or even thousands of apps located on individual desktops, a time-consuming and expensive task.

Softricity's SoftGrid software stores PC applications--such as Microsoft PowerPoint--on a server instead. The apps are then streamed to users as they're needed. Under a three-year deal revealed Tuesday, Microsoft will in certain markets bundle SoftGrid with its own server products, including SQL Server, BizTalk Server, Passport authentication, and the forthcoming .Net Server. Microsoft will support the effort with joint sales and marketing campaigns.

Softricity co-founder David Greschler says the deal "is as big as it gets" for his company, which is funded by Prism Ventures and Longworth Ventures. Greschler says integrating SoftGrid with Microsoft's .Net technologies will make it much easier for administrators to manage user access to desktop software. For instance, he says, Passport could be used internally to verify that an individual is authorized to use a given application.

He also says the release of .Net Server, slated to debut before year's end, will make the combination even stronger. For instance, SoftGrid and .Net server should work particularly well in thin-client environments, Greschler says. "We're expecting .Net to have particularly rich terminal-services functionality," he says.

He also says the fact that .Net server will be more closely integrated with SQL Server and BizTalk will make it easier for IT administrators to monitor and log application use.

That's key, not just for users but for application sellers--including Microsoft itself. Under the SoftGrid model, a single version of an application is installed on the server rather than multiple copies residing on numerous desktops. Companies pay for the application based on the authorized users.

The timing of the deal may be right, analysts say. Research firm International Data Corp. notes in a recent report that the app-server market, while stagnant this year, could boom beginning next year as tech spending increases and more CIOs integrate applications with middleware. "The market will be buoyed by the drive towards integration, speed, and ability to share information across the extended enterprise," says IDC analyst Daphne Chung. IDC says app-server software will represent a $1.1 billion market by 2006.

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
State of the Cloud
State of the Cloud
Cloud has drastically changed how IT organizations consume and deploy services in the digital age. This research report will delve into public, private and hybrid cloud adoption trends, with a special focus on infrastructure as a service and its role in the enterprise. Find out the challenges organizations are experiencing, and the technologies and strategies they are using to manage and mitigate those challenges today.
IT Careers: Top 10 US Cities for Tech Jobs
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  1/14/2020
Predictions for Cloud Computing in 2020
James Kobielus, Research Director, Futurum,  1/9/2020
What's Next: AI and Data Trends for 2020 and Beyond
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  12/30/2019
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
The Cloud Gets Ready for the 20's
This IT Trend Report explores how cloud computing is being shaped for the next phase in its maturation. It will help enterprise IT decision makers and business leaders understand some of the key trends reflected emerging cloud concepts and technologies, and in enterprise cloud usage patterns. Get it today!
White Papers
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll