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Unidesk 1.0 Hits the Streets

Unidesk Version 1.0 uses some very sophisticated technology to produce some very basic results. While 1.0--which is now generally available--employs a layering approach that was developed by diving deep into Windows, its true beauty is in its primary management benefits, including end-user flexibility that gives both end users and IT organizations the freedom and control they seek, along with 100 percent personalization, streamlined management and cost-efficient storage.

According to Unidesk, its Composite Virtualization layering technology separately captures and stores all users customizations in personalization layers. In this environment, Windows and apps like Office are created and maintained by IT in separate system and application layers. "By dynamically compositing these layers at boot time, Unidesk ensures that every desktop has the same set of patched and compliant base layers, while every user has a consistent, personal desktop and application experience," the company states.

The company makes it clear that they are competing in the management market, and toward that end, they empower IT admins to "efficiently create and update many desktops from single images of Microsoft Windows and applications, including applications with system services and boot-time drivers that application virtualization solutions cannot deliver."

The high cost of storage for virtual desktops is an issue for many companies, and one that Unidesk 1.0 solves by not allowing duplicate copies of Windows and affiliated apps such as Office to be stored.

With so many new companies flooding into one loosely defined market segment, it's not surprising that analysts and users alike are demanding real-life customer referrals, and Unidesk has stepped up to the plate with a happy customer--The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow College of Health Professions at Central Michigan University, where they've implemented Unidesk with VMware View and vSphere (the product is initially available for VMware environments only). The school is successfully using the package to provide knowledge workers with highly customized desktops, while cutting way back on requirements for patching, provisioning and repair time. It is also helping to maximize mobility among faculty, staff and students.

CEO Don Bulens is a savvy industry veteran who was previously president and CEO at EqualLogic, and has been down the start-up road before. He's not about to say that his latest company will make people forget Microsoft System Center as the big dog in Windows desktop management software, opting instead for a humble assertion that Unidesk will assiduously strive to "fill the gaps and add value," which seems like a smart bet, based on his track record.

His credo is simple: "Building products for the enterprise is fun when you can make IT people smile."

Unidesk 1.0 is available immediately through Unidesk Solution Partners who are expert in VMware, Citrix, and Microsoft solutions, with pricing starting at $150 per named user, and going down with volume. Some of these channel partners include Cambridge Computer, Delta System Associates, GreenPages, INX, Ivoxy, Kovanus, Mainline Information Systems, and World Wide Technologies. The company is also partnering with Pano Logic and Leostream.

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 06/21/2010 at 12:48 PM


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