Indeed a challenge in migrating to a Hosted Virtual Desktop (HVD) solution is what to do with existing devices. Citrix’s High Definition User EXperience (HDX) technologies for example, typically relies on the end device supporting a Microsoft Windows operating system to deliver the best user experience. If that is the case, how will you manage the end device that delivers the user’s HVD? Vendors such as DevonIT, Igel, and 10ZiG would naturally suggest you replace your traditional PC with a Thin Client: vendors such as PanoLogic, Teradici and Wyse would highlight the advantages of Zero Client devices – yet moving away from existing devices is a costly exercise in terms of providing replacement devices. And indeed – still does not address off-line working.
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A corporate desktop application installation is far from the consumer experience of adding an application to say your iPhone. What is the impact of enabling User Installed Applications in a virtualised environment – is it a compliance nightmare.
Enterprises and mid-sized businesses (SME’s) face two significant challenges and opportunities with respect to the end user desktops in the next two years. The first opportunity and challenge is how to replace the aging Windows XP installed base with the recently released Windows 7 platform. The second is how to end up with a desktop environment that is inherently more flexible and manageable than what is in place today.
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Layered operating system, application, personalization, and user data management approaches will be key to the migration to Windows 7 in the enterprise. Vendors like RingCube, MokaFive, Tranxition, Wanova and Unidesk should be investigated along with desktop virtualization initiatives as enterprises migrate to Windows 7.
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While server virtualization has largely settled down into a slugfest between VMware (vSphere), Microsoft (Hyper-V) and to a lesser extent Citrix (XenServer), and Red Hat (KVM), the desktop virtualization field remains wide open, and is being targeted by numerous startups with highly creative and appealing solutions. While VMware (View), and Citrix (XenDesktop) certainly represent the large players in the field, startups like Install Free, MokaFive, Virtual Computer, SlickAccess, Unidesk, Kavisa, and Ringcube all bring unique and differentiated solutions to the table.