AppSenseLabs have released StrataApps, their long anticipated User Managed Applications Solution. StrataApps enables you to:-
- introduce your own applications into your desktop even in a locked-down corporate desktop and without the need for Administrative Rights
- Create a self-service ‘Follow-Me Applications’ set between various computing devices.
While newer tablet and smartphone devices have given users a very slick application discovery and installation method, PC environments have not been as quick to catch up. For home users, application conflicts and issues can arise when different versions of applications, or similar applications are installed. For corporate users, user self-installation is fundamentally a dark, unhappy place with issues around support, stability and licensing: in a corporate environment it is often easier to decree user installed applications is impossible.
And yet, it could be so much easier – for home and corporate users – if there was a facility to install an application in such a way that it integrates into your existing environment but could cleanly be removed at any time – not only uninstalling itself, but returning your environment back to the point it was before the installation.
Good things come to those who wait. Have AppSenseLabs released a proper reward for patience with StrataApps? It is very likely you don’t have user installed applications now: has the time taken for delivery of a user-installed tool been too long? Has the moment passed? What does StrataApps do, and what does it not do?
AppSense Labs have released a free suite, DataLocker. Not only is Datalocker AppSense’s first departure to support environments beyond Microsoft Windows, but it is intended to ease adding an extra layer of security to sensitive files before syncing them to cloud-based services.
What does AppSense Lab’s first product release have in its locker? What is the comparison to other cloud storage solutions? AppSense Labs is a new direction for AppSense, a company typically associated with managing windows desktop environments and enabling VDI. If AppSense is investing in new services beyond “traditional” mobile/cross-device solutions such as VDI, what does this mean for those traditional solutions long term?
In part one I looked at the overall macro trends in the desktop virtualization market, now in part two I want to look at what to expect from key vendors and vendors: Microsoft, Citrix, VMware, and AppSense as well as product groups such as thing client and storage vendors. All with an eye to Desktop Virtualization in 2012.
Remember when you used to buy the magazines, buy the components, then use the components and the instructions in the magazines to build your own personal computer? Then install your own operating system. Then learn a programming language. Then write your own applications to run on your own computer? Then fix your computer because it blew up? Then bandage your hand because you soldered a component to your finger? Those days are likely gone but, back in October Intel reported strong PC and notebook sales, HP isn’t dropping its PC line. Your children may not tolerate building their own devices, but the PC will be a business device for at least the next to five to ten years.
What this also means is that for software companies focused on delivering applications and data to users, their solutions cannot be solely focused on virtualisation and the cloud: cannot be focused purely on thin and mobile. At the same time, IT departments need to be more business aware, because the business is increasingly IT aware.
At the Synergy Barcelona 2011 event last week Citrix positioned themselves to deliver on just that. Some impressive cloud announcements gave a long term strategy view. There were a number of additional previews to highlight Citrix’s commitment to appeal to The Business, and not just be about IT departmental solutions. Citrix flaunted their ever growing portfolio of services to enable organisations to have a strategy for end devices that is about delivering access to data not just in a virtualised desktop, but in a manner appropriate to device and its location. Let’s take a ramble through some of them.
This week we saw the announcement of two very similar acquisitions. Quest Software announced on October 24 that they were acquiring ChangeBASE and on October 26 Citrix Systems announced they were acquiring AppDNA. Both solutions provide application compatibility testing for the Windows platform.
Implementations of Windows 7 on both physical and virtual platforms have been hindered primarily due to concerns about or known issues of application compatibility. For 10 years, Windows XP was the platform for thousands of applications. Transitioning to a new platform is nothing less than herculean when the application set is nearly as old as the platform it’s running on. Even early implementations of Windows Terminal Server (i.e., Citrix MetaFrame) had application compatibility challenges, requiring scripts to make applications behave correctly in the multi-user Windows environment.
The User Managed Application is the IT manager’s redheaded stepchild. It may be unloved and unwanted, but it’s there and it’s not going away.The lack of enthusiasm for user managed applications is readily understandable. They are a liability, a licensing compliance headache, a drain of resources, and a security risk.