Virtualization Technology News and Information
Liquidware Labs: The Changing Face of the Desktop and other Trends in 2012


What do Virtualization and Cloud executives think about 2012? Find out in this series exclusive.

The Changing Face of the Desktop and other Trends in 2012

Contributed Article by Jason E. Smith – Director, User Virtualization Solutions, Liquidware Labs

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 months to find out you were right is an ego boost!

Before I predict anything for 2012, please humor me and let's revisit my predictions from last year for 2011. After all, we need to know where we are before I predict where we are headed. I was on point for some and missed on others. This reality check just gives me a healthy dose of balance :) :

1)      Desktops will increasingly be more heterogeneous, and we'll even stop referring to them as desktops in some circles: True, we now have more mixed environments than ever before, and the line has been grayed as to the definition of a desktop-with bring your own PC now being adopted at more organizations than ever. More on this below for 2012.

2)      Linux numbers on the desktop (such as Ubuntu) won't grow much: True, there hasn't been    widespread adoption of Linux as the core desktop platform for most organizations. There is just not enough of a commercial marketing push for the platform to attain success.

3)      Android tablets and Google Chromium OS devices will be more newsworthy than iPads: True and False, Android tablets took off and have certainly gained in the newsworthiness department, especially with the launch of the Kindle Fire. They've grabbed 27 percent in market share in just one year according to research firm Strategy Analytics. Google's Chromium OS devices are lagging in acceptance and adoption, and there are now bloggers writing about its possible demise. I think it is just a bit ahead of its time.

4)      iPads will grow, but we'll reach a hype point: False, the latest release of the iPad was a big success, and the hype continued. However, iPads have found their place in the corporate world as a solid way to augment other desktop experiences (more on this later). However, Android tablets are now coming on strong with 27% of the market over nearly zero a year ago.

5)      Android phones will bypass iPhones in overall numbers in 2011, not in 2012 as widely predicted: Bingo, I was right on this. It happened even earlier than I thought...barely into January.

6)      Desktops in the cloud will grow but desktop technologies in the cloud will grow even faster: True, I mentioned services like Dropbox, which took off like wildfire-even for traditional PC users.  Citrix saw so much merit in cloud storage that they bought ShareFile. And cloud desktops must have grown from nearly zero, but they are not pervasive at all in our customers' environments yet. If you count the private cloud and desktop virtualization, yes, they are growing rapidly.

7)      2011 will finally become the year of significant virtual-desktop adoption: True, we've personally experienced phenomenal growth in sales from the VMware View and Citrix XenDesktop market taking off. We've also enjoyed a bump in the world moving to Windows 7. We've worked with many major corporations with tens of thousands of users at each to provide our desktop transformation solutions as a complete path forward to manage the transition, to migrate user-authored data, and virtualize the user persona. Thoughts about this continued trend in 2012 appear below.

New Predictions for 2012:

1)      The year of real BYOPC (Bring Your Own PC) adoption:  We've seen it internally at Citrix and forward-thinking companies, but now we'll see it at more traditional, less tech-savvy companies and educational institutions. Even my daughter's middle school launched a BYOT (Bring Your Own Technology) program this year with open WiFi to connect to any device. What are employees increasingly choosing? A Mac. So with Windows losing physical end-point market share in these environments, how do we create a standard desktop for these employees to access key company resources and apps? The answer: Virtualization of Windows desktops is the easiest course for 2012. This will be a big driver for virtualization of desktops.

2)      Tablets will become increasingly commonplace to augment a full desktop experience: If a tablet is not sitting on your desktop right now next to your PC, there is a good chance one will be there next year as this trend grows with iOS and Android-based devices. Kindle Fire (just launched at $199) is a game-changer, and I boldly predict that it will account for approximately half of new tablet market sales in 2012.

3)      Growth for the virtualized desktop market will continue its upward trend: Predictions one and two above will hasten its growth among many other factors. Other factors include storage, which has become more affordable and dynamic. Additional advances in technology have been made and are currently being implemented that will open up the pool of employees for virtual desktop consideration. As companies adopt new technologies-such as open and flexible user-virtualization solutions-and implement user-installed application strategies, user barriers to adoption will fall away, and desktop virtualization will become commonplace. 

So there are my three new predictions for 2012. With any luck I'll be back here next year eating crow or basking in the satisfaction of my correct pontifications!  Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, I hope to meet you in the New Year! Comment below and let me know what you think.


About the Author

Jason E. Smith is director of User Virtualization solutions at Liquidware Labs. He has consulted and/or led product marketing programs for many leading virtualization and Windows management companies including Reflex Systems, ISS, RES Software, Opalis Software, Vector Networks, UltraBac Software, ScriptLogic, Red Hat Software, and Citrix Systems.
Published Friday, December 09, 2011 6:35 AM by David Marshall
Comments - Virtualization Technology News and Information for Everyone - (Author's Link) - January 4, 2012 7:07 AM

I'd like to personally welcome each and every one of you to the start of 2012! As we begin what will certainly prove to be a fantastic new year, I wanted to make sure to thank all of the loyal member's and readers of Once again, with the help

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