Looking at the Application Installation Process

Before I walk through the application virtualization technologies available with App-V, it’s important to understand why virtualizing applications is beneficial. This understanding is best gained through an examination of the evolution of applications and how applications are installed on a modern desktop operating system.

The Early Years of Applications

Looking back to early desktop operating systems that ran on computers with a single processor, a single processing core, a few hundred KB of RAM, and a 10MB hard drive, it becomes clear that those early applications bore little resemblance to what you find today. Those early operating systems were not multitasking, so only one application could run at a time; therefore, applications didn’t have to be designed for interoperation with other applications (except perhaps to be able to open data files from other applications).

Each application was very much its own island, with no interaction with or concern for anything else on the system. Happy days!

Originally, applications were made available in the form of executable files, and the install process consisted of taking the application from media and copying it to a directory on the hard drive. If there was configuration specific for the application, it was stored in a file in the application’s directory, maybe in an INI file.

As Windows and the hardware it ran on evolved, the process of multithreading was achieved, which enabled multiple ...

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