Microsoft plans to include App-V built-in to upcoming "Redstone" release of Windows 10

You may have heard that "Redstone" is the codename for the 2016 releases of Windows 10, with "Redstone 1" scheduled for this summer and "Redstone 2" scheduled for the fall.

You may have heard that “Redstone” is the codename for the 2016 releases of Windows 10, with “Redstone 1” scheduled for this summer and “Redstone 2” scheduled for the fall. (Yesterday Microsoft released Redstone 1 to Windows Insiders.)

Last week, Michel Roth noticed that a Flexera webinar detailed that the App-V client would be built in to Windows 10 starting in the Redstone timeframe. (The webcast has since been removed, but not before being posted to YouTube which is where Michel got his information.)

Based on what Michel wrote, it looks like it will work pretty much as expected. The App-V client will be included with Windows, based on the current App-V 5.1 server infrastructure. If you already have an App-V client installed and upgrade, it will be seamlessly converted to the new built-in client.

It looks like the Redstone 1 release will pretty much just be getting the client built in, and then in Redstone 2 they’ll focus on tighter integration with other Microsoft products.

All of this is influenced by the Microsoft “Centennial” project which is a tool for developers to help them package existing Win32 and .NET apps into the AppX format. (AppX is the format of Metro-style apps.) Centennial is not a replacement for App-V. (Centennial is for developers to help package their apps for AppX, while App-V will continue to be for end customers to package apps.) However, Microsoft has said that Centennial is based on and influenced by some App-V technologies under the hood, so I assume that getting the App-V client onto every desktop helps further that goal.

Last year Microsoft also announced that traditional Win32 and .NET apps will be made available in the Windows Store, based on using App-V packaging. So building the App-V client into Windows 10 makes sense for this too.

No word on what this means for App-V and whether it will continue to be part of MDOP. It’s probably safe to assume that the App-V infrastructure, server, and management components will continue to be part of MDOP. This update is just about getting the client out there so more users can run App-V-packaged apps.

So overall this seems like a plan. We’ll have several sessions at BriForum this year about App-V, and I’m sure this will be a big part of the conversation. What do you think?

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App-V has always been licensed via the client component, with customers being free to use the server and sequencer components without additional license.

Microsoft basically dead-ended MDOP as a separately purchased product last summer, when they announced changes to embed the rights to use MDOP components directly in the Enterprise Agreement.  My understanding is as follows:

* Customers with an EA signed AFTER some magical date (roughly the end of August?) automatically have the right to use MDOP components without additional purchase.

* Customers with an EA signed PRIOR to the magic date

need MDOP to deploy App-V on desktops, until they next renew their EA.

* Customers using RDS may use App-V on the RDS Server as it is included in the RDS CAL.

Whether MDOP remains as a packaging entity remained unclear, but it is noticeable that we didn't get the normal November update release.  

App-V being in the core of Windows 10 Enterprise should mean that the EA date aspect of this should disappear for those Windows 10 desktops.  

But since there will still be a lot of supported Window 7 desktops a separate installer is certainly required and probably the license mechanism of newer EA or MDOP.  This is likely to be the only reason for something called MDOP to exist, otherwise Microsoft would just update the individual components as needed.

I also discussed my take on the announcement on my personal blog here: