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AppSense Releases Free Version of User Managed Applications Technology

AppSense, which develops products to help organizations virtualize user settings, is creating a set of programs to let users install applications without administrative rights even in lockdown situations. The first release in that new suite, named AppSense Strata, will be available free to users. AppSense said it expects to ship the initial offering, which is currently being beta tested, in the first quarter of 2012.

As the company explained in a blog posting, when a user starts an application installation, they're given the option to either install the application natively or into Strata. If they pick Strata, the application will be installed into a Strata Application Store. This application store acts as a kind of sandbox area that looks to the user as if the program has been installed natively. In fact, it's running in an isolated virtualization layer or strata, separate from the operating system or any official image installed by IT.

When an application is installed to the Strata layer, the AppSense Virtualization Engine intercepts all file and registry operations and maintains them in that application store, along with the required Windows services and operating system objects.

Disabling the Strata technology, the company reported, returns the operating system immediately to its underlying state, "with all traces of the Strata User Managed Applications removed."

"AppSense Strata is for organizations wanting to control IT costs while simultaneously giving users the freedom they require to be productive," said Chief Technology Officer Harry Labana. "A true user virtualization platform must provide a solution to manage the user apps layer that gives users flexibility but does not require IT to relinquish any control over the desktop. The majority of users want to install personal applications in addition to the pre-existing ones given to them by their IT department."

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a writer who covers technology and business for a number of publications. Contact her at dian@dischaffhauser.com.

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