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2010 Prediction - The Future of Desktop Computing

What do Virtualization and Cloud executives think about 2010?  Find out in this series exclusive.

Contributed article by Jason E. Smith, VP Marketing for Liquidware Labs

2010 Prediction -The Future of Desktop Computing

Tis the season to reflect - and pontificate!  So what does the future of desktop computing look like in 2010?  I am going to add to a prediction I made about 18 months ago - "The future of Windows (and now I am adding desktop computing as a whole) is heterogeneous!"

So, ‘heterogeneous,' what a vague word!  Most analysts in this segment spend much of their time talking about what desktop delivery method, OS, or application delivery method is going to lead or win out. 

On the VDI side some of the questions are: Will VMware and Citrix continue to battle for the desktop? Will a client hypervisor like Virtual Computer get a stronger foothold? And, might Red Hat Qumranet emerge as a real choice? On the OS side similar questions abound, will Windows 7 (just a much better version of Vista IMO) be adopted quickly? Will XP keep a foothold because of Vista's damage to the brand? Or, will Apple's Mac and Linux OSs like Ubuntu continue to trickle slyly into the enterprise? When it comes to application delivery, will VMware's ThinApp be sold to more and more organizations without VDI?  Will Microsoft AppV assemble a plan and conquer more of the market? Or, will a player like Unidesk try to make those arguments irrelevant?

My answer to all of the above questions is quite simple.  My answer is, "Yes!"   Yes, there will continue to be an increasing number of desktop delivery methods, OS versions/brands, and application delivery methods.  These companies, and the investors that back them, are strong.  There is a lot of market at stake and, for the most part, the companies and their technologies are not going away any time soon.

The question for most organizations choosing their next generation desktop is not which desktop technologies will win out but rather which is right for their particular environment.  I have no doubt that some of these technologies will emerge as leaders in their respective markets.  For example, by most indications VMware View and Citrix XenDesktop are outpacing most other options in VDI, numerous organizations have started limited migrations to Windows 7 and will expand those in 2010, and VMware's ThinApp is coming on strong for application virtualization (even for physical PC environments).  

However, I think it is foolish, based on my years of interfacing with enterprise level administrators and CIOs, to think about any one of these technologies being the sole winner. Organizations typically move only part of their users and desktops to a new technology at any one time and the new technology must co-exist with the old - at least for a time. 

Once the choice for a next generation desktop has been finalized the real fun begins.  The emerging challenge in 2010 will be to assess current infrastructure and usage patterns to be able to right-size newly planned desktop environments.  Additionally, these organization's will be challenged with migrating user data and documents into the new environment as quickly, painlessly, and seamlessly as possible.  Any plan will have to ensure that all of this will be accomplished while remaining fully compatible with the increasingly heterogeneous desktop enterprise. 


About the Author 

Jason E. Smith is VP Marketing for Liquidware Labs, the leader in Assessment and User Experience Management for next generation desktops such as VMware View, Citrix XenDesktop, and Windows 7.  The company's Stratusphere and ProfileUnity solutions provide assessment, migration, configuration, and user service level assurance for new desktop infrastructure.

Published Thursday, December 10, 2009 5:52 AM by David Marshall
2010 Prediction – The Future of Desktop Computing : … | VirtualizationDir - Top Virtualization Providers, News and Resources - (Author's Link) - December 11, 2009 9:59 AM
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