Valovic on Virtualization

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The Missing Link in Microsoft Client Virtualization

Listening to Bob Muglia and Kevin Turner speaking yesterday at the Microsoft virtualization launch more or less confirmed my perceptions (and doubts) about the company’s approach to hosted desktop virtualization or what it likes to call “centralized desktops”.

Hosted desktop virtualization is one of the four types of client virtualization as defined by Forrester, which also includes local desktop, local application, and hosted application elements. (Client virtualization tends to be a semantic wormhole, proceed with caution!)

One of the core messages from Microsoft’s event was that Redmond has an end to end portfolio of virtualization solutions in all major areas, the shot across the bow to VMware. But there may be a gap in this lineup.

When it comes to client virtualization overall, Redmond certainly has a good case, especially given the acquisition of Kidaro and Softricity. App-V 4.5, for example, has just been released. What I’m questioning is the company’s approach to hosted desktop or VDI where it does not appear to have a well-defined product currently or even what I would consider to be a well-articulated strategy or product roadmap.

Muglia put a lot of emphasis on presentation virtualization in his remarks yesterday (Think Terminal Services and the Citrix partnership.) and there was a reason for this. Clearly, for the foreseeable future at least, Redmond will rely on its partnership with Citrix for both a connection broker and XenDesktop to fulfill this area. But since hosted desktop is an important element in any company’s virtualization strategy, Microsoft may well be missing a major opportunity. Stay tuned.

Posted by Tom Valovic on 09/09/2008 at 12:49 PM


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