Endeavors Technologies has taken a step toward commoditising the emerging technology of application streaming with a free, fully functional version of its Application Jukebox product.

Streaming is a virtualisation technology that provides a way for software components, including applications, desktops, and even complete operating systems, to be dynamically delivered from a central location to the end-user over the network.

Unlike traditional software delivery, there is no complex and lengthy installation process. A minimal block of the software is downloaded up front, and available for use almost immediately, much like streaming video. While the user starts work, the rest of the software is downloaded in the background or as required.

The technique can offer lower administrative costs than full desktop virtualisation, since there are only a few applications to maintain rather than a desktop image for every user, and can also help administrators to reduce the number of application licences needed.

Other players include Citrix with XenApp and VMware with ThinApp, as well as AppStream and Microsoft.

Application Jukebox Lite is a more powerful version of Endeavors' previous free product, now offering all the features of the paid edition, but limited to a single server.

The product, available from the company's website, includes Application Jukebox Studio for making applications streamable, a server and Player, which creates the virtual application environment on the client and enforces application licence restrictions.

Endeavors is also offering ready-made streamable applications to give admins a sense of how the system works.

Other editions of Application Jukebox include a software-as-a-service (SaaS) version, for offering pay-as-you-go applications, and a version for enterprises.

Andi Mann of Network World contributed to this report.