Cool Product, Lame Name – Microsoft UE-V
This week Microsoft formally announced the product I was working on before I left: Microsoft User Experience Virtualization, or UE-V. It is a part of the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack, as are all products currently being developed out of Microsoft’s Utah Development Center.
UE-V is an example of what happens when you let marketing people go unchecked in naming a product. The “V” stands for “Virtualization”, of which there is none in UE-V. UE-V doesn’t have anything to do with virtual machines, virtual environments, or even virtualization of the “User Experience” in the strictest sense.
It is apparent that the purpose for choosing UE-V as the product name has to do with trying to maintain some semblance of branding continuity in the product names that comprise MDOP. Two of the biggest products in MDOP are App-V (Application Virtualization) and MED-V (Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization). In the case of these two products, however, there actually is something being virtualized, so the name is appropriate. Three other products in MDOP (namely DART, MBAM, and AGPM) do not use virtualization and also do not include a “-V” in the name, so I don’t see the point of forcing UE-V to contain a “-V”. Besides, App-V and MED-V are at least pronounceable as a single word. How do you pronounce UE-V? ”You’ve?”
Despite the utter naming fail, I have to say that I think UE-V is a pretty sweet product. It is well planned and designed to address a very specific set of needs, and it does that pretty well. The management of user settings is granular and highly configurable, the synchronization of the settings is timely and relevant to the scope of the settings, and the solution will work well in both traditional (user desktop) and more enterprise-y (VDI or TS) environments. I designed and wrote the bulk of the code that manages the storage of the application and environment settings, and there’s some pretty cool stuff in there that I’m quite proud of.
Of all the MDOP products, this now makes four (MED-V, MBAM, UE-V, and DART) that are developed out of the Utah Development Center. It is a significant contribution to Microsoft made by that team, one that Microsoft should be pleased with. I’m glad to see UE-V get announced, because I’m proud of that and the other products that I worked on when I was there. And if you are looking for a solution to synchronize your settings between devices, I think UE-V is a great alternative.
If you are using MDOP, that is, which is only available to Microsoft customers with an SA subscription. Which means that, unless you are working for a really big company, you probably won’t be able to use UE-V. Sorry.