Benchmarking virtualization products is an addictive game. Below we use SpyStudio to compare how long it takes to load a 21 slides PowertPoint presentation, with text and graphics, in three environments: Microsoft App-V 5 (MNT), Symantec Workspace Virtualization 6.4.1603, and natively. We measure the time elapsed until the slides show up on the GUI.
Both end-users and developers benefit from the virtualization of Microsoft Office applications. One benefit for end-users is that the virtualization of Microsoft Office does not leave the footprints that the installed program would: Microsoft Office natively installs a lot of components on the user machine that impact on their performance. Developers benefit from the chance to develop add-ins for different versions of the same application without having to run different virtual machines. For example, it is possible to develop an extension for Outlook and run it on Outlook 2007, 2010, and 2013 on a single machine.
Microsoft has been encouraging the virtualization of Microsoft Office. They are still deploying the usual Office applications but they are also introducing App-V packages for them. Other virtualization companies are following suit.
In general, the overhead for this benchmark is low. Microsoft App-V is just 12% slower, while Symantec Workspace Virtualization is only 2 % slower. Symantec wins again.