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About User Experience Virtualization 2.0

Updated: December 2, 2013

Applies To: User Experience Virtualization 2.0

Microsoft User Experience Virtualization (UE-V) 2.0 monitors the changes that are made by users to application settings and Windows operating system settings. The user settings are captured and centralized to a settings storage location. These settings can then be applied to the different computers that are accessed by the user, including desktop computers, laptop computers, and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) sessions.

UE-V uses settings location templates to specify what desktop applications and Windows settings on the user computers are synchronized. The Windows 8 app developer defines which app settings can synchronize but UE-V enables you to define which Windows 8 apps synchronize their settings.

UE-V monitors the application settings and Windows settings when users are working on their computers. The setting values for desktop application, but not Windows 8 apps, are stored on the settings storage location when the user closes the application. The values for the Windows settings are stored when the user logs off, when the computer is locked, or when the user disconnects remotely from a computer. Windows 8 apps are captured and applied dynamically.

For applications, an administrator can control what applications synchronize their settings by identifying which settings should be captured. For Windows 8 apps, the administrator can manage a list of apps that synchronize their settings. For line-of-business desktop applications, the administrator can create a UE-V settings location template to specify which enterprise application settings are to be synchronized. UE-V includes a set of settings location templates for some Microsoft applications and Windows settings. For a list of default applications and settings in UE-V, see Planning Which Applications to Synchronize with UE-V 2.0.

What’s new in UE-V 2.0

This version of UE-V provides the following new features and functionality.

Client-side cache (CSC) no longer required

This version of UE-V introduces a synchronization method that is called the sync provider. The sync provider uses scheduled tasks and synchronization events and replaces the requirement for the Windows Offline Files feature to support a client-side cache of settings. Previous UE-V behavior synchronized settings when an application opened, closed, or when Windows locked or unlocked, or at logon or logoff. The sync provider synchronizes local application and Windows settings with the settings storage location out-of-band with these "trigger events." The sync provider uses a scheduled task to sync the settings storage package every 30 minutes. Because this process is controlled by a scheduled task, you can change the default synchronization interval according to the enterprise requirements.

Certain conditions provide more frequent synchronization. Settings synchronize when the user clicks the Sync Now button in the new Company Settings Center application. Certain setting event triggers also start the sync provider for a single application without waiting for the scheduled synchronization task. For example, when an application is closed, any settings changes are written to the local cache, and the sync provider process runs asynchronously to move those new settings changes to the settings storage location.

Windows 8 app synchronization

UE-V now monitors Windows 8 apps for settings changes. The developer of a Windows 8 app defines which settings, if any, are to be synchronized. These settings can then be captured and synchronized by using UE-V. Several options define which Windows 8 apps are synchronized and whether any Windows 8 apps are synchronized at all. By default, UE-V synchronizes the settings of many of the Windows 8 apps included in Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. The list of synchronized apps can be modified withWindows PowerShell, Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI), or Group Policy. For a list of default applications and settings in UE-V, see Planning Which Applications to Synchronize with UE-V 2.0.

noteNote
As of Windows 8, UE-V does not synchronize Windows 8 app settings if the domain users link their sign-in credentials to their Microsoft account. This linking synchronizes settings to Microsoft SkyDrive so UE-V only synchronizes the desktop applications.

Microsoft account linking

Settings synchronization via SkyDrive is new to Windows 8 when you are signed in with a Microsoft account or if you link your Microsoft account to your domain account. If a domain user uses UE-V and has signed in by using the Microsoft account, UE-V only synchronizes settings for desktop applications. This process enables the Microsoft account to handle setting for Windows 8 apps and Windows settings.

Company Settings Center

UE-V 2.0 includes a new application that is called Company Settings Center, which helps users manage which settings to synchronize. The Company Settings Center is installed along with the UE-V Agent. Users access the Company Settings Center from Control Panel, the Start menu, or the Start screen, and from the UE-V notification area icon. Company Settings Center displays which settings are synchronized and helps users see the synchronization status of UE-V. If the administrator gives them the option, users can use the Company Settings Center to select which settings to synchronize. They can also click the Sync Now button to synchronize all settings immediately.

UEV 2.0 Release Notes

For more information, and for late-breaking news that did not make it into the documentation, see Microsoft User Experience Virtualization (UE-V) 2.0 Release Notes.

Evaluating UE-V 2.0

While UE-V is highly configurable, you can deploy UE-V to synchronize Windows desktop settings, Windows 8 App settings, and Microsoft Office settings with a few steps. For more information about evaluating UE-V, see Evaluating UE-V 2.0.

A 120-day trial version for UE-V 2.0 is available. This trial software can be used to evaluate the features and functionality of UE-V.

noteNote
After 120 days, this evaluation software stops to synchronizing settings between computers that have the UE-V Agent installed. No upgrade from the trial version to the standard version is available.

To install the standard version of the UE-V software, you must uninstall the trial version of the UE-V Agent and then install the standard UE-V Agent. Custom settings location templates that have been modified by using the trial version of the UE-V Generator work with the standard version. Settings location catalogs and the settings storage locations do not have to be redeployed. Templates that are distributed with Microsoft System Center 2012 Configuration Manager are not overwritten or lost when the standard version of the UE-V is installed.

Comparing UE-V to other Microsoft products

The following table provides a comparison of UE-V, Synchronize Profiles in Windows 7, Synchronize Profiles in Windows 8, and settings sync using Microsoft account.

 

Feature Synchronize Profiles using Windows 7 Synchronize Profiles using Windows 8 Microsoft account UE-V

Synchronize settings between multiple computers

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Synchronize settings between physical and virtual apps

No

No

No

Yes

Synchronize Windows 8 application settings

No

No

Yes

Yes

Manage via WMI

No

Yes

No

Yes

Synchronize settings changes on a regular basis

No

No

Yes

Yes

Minimal configuration for Setup

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Supported on non-domain joined computers

No

No

Yes

No

Supports Primary Computer Active Directory attribute

No

Yes

No

No

Synchronizes settings between virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI)/Remote Desktop Services (RDS) and rich desktops

No

No

No

Yes

Unlimited setting storage space

Yes

Yes

No

Yes

Choice in which app settings to synchronize

No

No

No

Yes

How to Get MDOP Technologies

This technology is a part of the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP). Enterprise customers can get MDOP with Microsoft Software Assurance. For more information about Microsoft Software Assurance and acquiring MDOP, see How Do I Get MDOP (http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/p/?LinkId=322049).

See Also

 
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