On Thursday, Microsoft completed its acquisition of Kidaro, a startup from Israel that makes desktop virtualization software that is especially useful for roaming laptop users. Microsoft will combine Kidaro’s technology with its Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) — a.k.a. Windows Optimized Desktop — to deliver a new desktop virtualization product called “Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization” during the first half of 2009, according to Shanen Boettcher, general manager of Windows product management.

“This technology will help enable end users to run applications from multiple versions of Windows at the same time, with seamless windowing and menus, and without the confusion of logging into and seeing multiple virtual machine desktops,” stated Boettcher.

Microsoft wants to use this technology to further the momentum that it sees in desktop virtualization. Boettcher reported, “We’ve sold over 6.5 million licenses of MDOP to date, making it the fastest-selling volume licensing product in Microsoft history. It’s worth noting that 60 percent of IT Pros who are familiar with MDOP have told us they intend to deploy MDOP within the next 12 months.”

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Bottom line for IT leaders

With Microsoft investing significantly in desktop virtualization, this technology is rapidly moving from a concept and a fad idea to the potential for an enterprise-class solution in 2009. Because it has the potential to reduce costs, improve information security, and create great worker and IT flexibility, desktop virtualization is a technology to watch over the next 12-24 months.