Keeping pace with Microsoft's latest releases, Xenocode this week unveiled Virtual Application Studio 2010, an update to its virtualization engine that supports Windows 7, simplifies app-publishing to the Web, and permits deployment to multiple platforms using a single executable, the company said. Microsoft this week began shipping Windows 7, and put out a final beta of Visual Studio 2010, which is set for general availability in March.

Virtual Application Studio turns an application into a self-contained executable, which can be e-mailed or transported on a USB drive and executed on any modern Windows PC without regard for what else might be installed. With just a few clicks, developers can virtualize their Windows-based applications for instant deployment to internal servers or the Web. The cost is US$40 per developer seat; there are no royalties.

Introduced in 2008, Virtual Application Studio 2010 now reportedly can execute vitualized apps on any version of Windows 7, can virtualize apps designed for it, and now permits applications to be launched directly from within a Web browser (via Spoon), reducing the time required by the traditional download-and-install process, the company said. A new platform merge function allows virtual apps to be customized based on the target operating system, allowing deployment to multiple platforms using a single executable. The new version includes application templates for Firefox, Internet Explorer, Office, OpenOffice and other popular software, which simplify the virtualization of applications. You can also now set expiration values for your apps, with the option to halt after a set number of days or executions. On that note, Xenocode also lets you download an evaluation version and see a demo of Virtual Application Studio 2010 at