Virtualization Technology News and Information
Liquidware Labs: 2011 - The Changing Face of "Desktops"

What do Virtualization and Cloud executives think about 2011?  Find out in this series exclusive.

Contributed Article By Jason Smith, VP of Marketing, Liquidware Labs  

2011 - The Changing Face of "Desktops" has been kind enough to invite me back to pontificate on predictions for 2011.  Last year I predicted that desktop computing as a whole would become more heterogeneous.  I don't mind saying that I was right....even beyond what I'd predicted.  Now we have wide-spread adoption of iPads and the soon-to-ship Chromium OS systems to contend with.
Here are my predictions for 2011.  Be warned, they are bolder than my predictions in previous years:

1) Desktops will increasingly be more heterogeneous and we'll even stop referring to them as desktops in some circles. We'll start calling these simply "devices" or some other trendy name beyond tablets.  I predict that in the short term, Windows will still be the underlying tie that binds these experiences the most.  Let me clarify, Windows is not disappearing anytime soon.  VMware, Citrix, RDP, and Wyse will be the paths back to our big boy desktops for serious work -- whether they are in our basement, in the datacenter, or in the cloud.
2) Linux numbers on the desktop (such as Ubuntu) won't grow much. Not because it is free, delightfully easy to use, and by many measures arguably superior to Windows.  Linux will not gain ground in the desktop market because no one has figured out how to make money by doing so. The secret is that many companies could save millions by putting Ubuntu on their old Windows XP machines and running OpenOffice instead of moving to Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2010.  And therein lies the trouble.  With no serious marketing dollars behind it, it will largely remain a secret.
3) Android tablets and Google Chromium OS devices will be more newsworthy than iPads by late spring, and look for widespread adoption of Chromium OS netbooks by this time next year.  Both of these will be brought into the heterogeneous fold by cloud-based and virtual technologies from Google, Citrix, VMware, and Microsoft. The discussions we have today about iPads will simply be referred to as ‘devices', ‘tablets', or some other all-inclusive phrase.  In 2012, whatever that phrase is will be as common as the term ‘laptop'.
4) iPads will grow but we'll reach a hype point, or a tolerance threshold. In other words, they are going to fall short of expectations and many people will have all of the iPad experience they can stand. Several factors are at play here:  the lack of Adobe Flash, a user interface that is at times a bit awkward for some (I still curse mine because it does not have a hardware 'back' button), the lack of expandable storage, and the overall true keyboard-lacking tablet form factor. Don't get me wrong, they will find their real place -- augmenting PCs, notebooks, and virtual desktop strategies.  Companies that have found certain cases to augment laptops with iPads for specific reasons will be in good shape with those decisions.  Companies that have replaced laptops/notebooks with iPads in a wholesale fashion will be forced to rethink those radical decisions.
5) Android phones will bypass iPhones in overall numbers in 2011, not in 2012 as widely predicted.  Users will increasingly access virtual desktops for short, single-task, sessions from these devices using technologies such as WYSE Pocket Cloud and iRdesktop (personal request, ThinStuff, please support Android :-).
6) Desktops in the cloud (such as Desktone) will grow but desktop technologies in the cloud will grow even faster. Software/databases as a service in the cloud, cloud-based storage such as Dropbox, and other user-centric data such as Google voice, apps, and even personalized storage of Web experiences, will increasingly be accepted by users wanting to access their personal data anywhere, anytime, and by any device.
7)  2011 will finally become the year of significant virtual desktop adoption.  (For the record, I have never predicted this before).  Stalled projects will increasingly be hastened by cloud technologies and management solutions that will ensure success.  Just as LANDesk, Altiris, and Vector Networks became must-have solutions for the management of traditional desktops, a new breed of companies such as Liquidware Labs, AppSense, NetApp, and AppDNA will widely be accepted as the new standard in management solutions for virtual desktop assessments, storage, management, and to ensure the user experience. 

So that's it, those are my predictions for next year. Now sit back, buckle up, and keep your hands and arms inside the vehicle at all times. We're all in for a fun ride in 2011! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

About the Author

Jason was previously with Entrigue Systems which the company acquired in 2009 for its user environment management solution, ProfileUnity. He has more than 17 years experience in software and technology product marketing and product management, having directly consulted dozens of Windows management and networking companies including Reflex Systems, ISS, RES Software, Opalis Software, Vector Networks, UltraBac Software, ScriptLogic, D&B Software, DCA, divisions of BellSouth, Red Hat Software, and Citrix Systems. A proven technical-minded serial entrepreneur, Jason was also a product marketing consultant and equity holder in Sonic Mobility which was sold to LANDesk/Avocent in 2004. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Journalism with a minor in Psychology from The University of Georgia.

Published Thursday, December 16, 2010 5:00 AM by David Marshall
Comments - Virtualization Technology News and Information for Everyone - (Author's Link) - December 9, 2011 6:44 AM

I am embarking on my third year of making these executive predictions for VMBlog and have mixed emotions about them: Making predictions is fun. Checking back in 12 months to find out that some of them were wrong is not so much fun. Checking back in 12

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