Microsoft's newly acquired FSLogix has been tasked with upping the speed of Office 365 ProPlus in virtual environments, including those of rivals Citrix and VMWare.
Not that Microsoft would refer to the duo as rivals these days. Oh no – those caring souls in Redmond regard Citrix as a "partner", despite the fact its Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) stands ready to take a bite out of its "partner's" business.
Microsoft also referred to FSLogix as a "partner" back in September's WVD announcement before snapping up the company a couple of months later. FSLogix employs some clever caching technology to cut down on the time needed to support virtual desktops while boosting performance.
Done right, the new tentacle of the Windows giant reckons that "near-native or better performance" can be delivered when running the likes of Outlook, Office and OneDrive.
Microsoft snaps up FSLogix to paint go-faster stripes on virtualized OfficeREAD MORE
The container tech of FSLogix has now been integrated with Microsoft's Office lineup on virtual environments and comes free with Microsoft 365 or Windows 10 subscriptions (E3, E5 and so on). You do, however, still have to actually pay for those subscriptions.
Virty competitors such as Citrix and VMWare remain supported. After all, it's those Office subscriptions Microsoft wants. Where the software runs is... less important right now?
However, if Microsoft's platforms are your thing, the company is improving the experience under Windows Server 2019. OneDrive Files-On-Demand will arrive for virtualized Office apps users in the next few months meaning a theoretical drop in storage needs (as long as users don't try to sync the entirety of their shiny, new 2TB OneDrive folders). Windows Server 2019 will also support running Office 365 ProPlus.
The Redmond rabble also said they are making Office 365 a better virtualized citizen, improving the increasingly bloated Outlook app to cut the number of default synced folders in cached mode and making the Inbox sync before the Calendar (as well as adding options to reduce the Calendar sync window). Bad news for thumb-twiddlers waiting for emails while the thing grinds into life.
Teams has also seen some love from a "collaboration" with Citrix to bring audio and video media optimisation marking for calling and meetings using the Slack-for-suits platform. Naturally, support for WVD is also on the cards and doubtless looming large over the competition.
WVD has been in public preview since March and, as well as the whole multi-session Windows 10 thing, is also positioned as a stepping stone for Windows 7 holdouts. The lure of three more years of free security updates for the ageing operating system is currently being dangled in front of administrators should they make the jump to Microsoft's virtual world. ®