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Getting Ready for Microsoft Office 2010



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April 30, 2010 12:51 pm

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It’s safe to say that Microsoft’s Office is the mostly widely used office suite in the enterprise today. There are of course excellent challengers such as OpenOffice that we at Novell champion, but the numbers tell us that Microsoft Office is the market leader.

This month Microsoft starts making Office 2010 available through MSDN and Technet, to Volume Licensing customers and eventually into general release by mid May if the blogosphere’s dates are correct.

So what, you may ask, and why do I care?

It’s pretty safe to say that most all Novell customers are also Microsoft customers. It’s the nature of the marketplace we live in. For the last couple of years, we’ve also been very clear that Making IT Work as One isn’t some bogus tagline, it is in fact what we do, what our infrastructure software enables. This commitment has enormous impact for organizations that will be receiving, investigating and deploying Microsoft Office 2010.

We know that there will be retraining required for users, especially those users who still live their days inside Office 2003. But even those organizations that migrated to Office 2007 and the ribbon interface are going to have a transitional period.

It is technically possible to have both an older version and a new version of Office installed on a Windows machine, but depending on the version of WIndows, and the version of Office, this lives somewhere on the scale between “has issues” and “certifiable nightmare”. Fortunately, we can help any organization that will be going through the Microsoft Office transition. Or any other application transition or upgrade for that matter.

With ZENworks Application Virtualization, Novell enabled organizations to deploy applications to desktops as runtime executables or MSI files in a manner that they did not alter the local workstation and its registry in any way. ZENworks Application Virtualization makes it easy to run different versions of the same application on the same workstation and even to run applications not supported on the current version of the installed operating system. As was noted in a recent NetworkWorld article by Denise Dubie, a substantial number of organizations still have applications with a dependency on Internet Explorer 6.   These same organizations that want to leverage the power, stability and flexibility of Windows 7 were at a crossroads, or at least until they are made aware of ZENworks Application Virtualization.

More and more though, we are hearing about the idea of Virtual Desktop. There is a team here at Novell working on this today, and they have done some work that is truly amazing. But what if your organization isn’t ready or architecturally aligned for a full virtual desktop environment but the idea of delivering apps in this manner sounds appealing?

With ZENworks Application Virtualization version 8, we’ve introduced application streaming. In sessions delivered at BrainShare with my co-presenter Ron van Herk, we were able to show the attendees how simple it was to deliver applications in a stream, as well as how ZENworks Application Virtualization optimized the preloading process so the user experience was fast and very positive.

With all the new applications that are constantly coming out (this is an example of the ongoing innovation being driven in our industry) there are times and situations where the traditional entwined install just doesn’t make business sense. Application virtualization and application streaming are just more practical, faster to deploy and easier to maintain. If you haven’t seen ZENworks Application Virtualization lately, you owe it to your organization to have a look. I think you’ll be very impressed and see your own value proposition right away.

Until next time, peace.

Ross Chevalier

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