Microsoft and Citrix Look to Deliver TKO

Will Microsoft always rule the desktop?

At last check, Microsoft rules the desktop with its operating system and applications. Whether you love or hate it, we have all adopted its tools, applications, and technology to perform everyday tasks. So when it comes to improving desktop management and end-user experience, unless we are ready to make a radical change, we look towards Microsoft.

Today, Microsoft announced plans to accelerate desktop virtualization and hit the market with a few good blows:

  • If you are a VMware View customer with up to 500 licenses, Microsoft will allow you to trade them in.
  • Somehow, Microsoft and Citrix have successfully learned to dance together and they are doing it again with a new technology agreement, combined solutions and go to market strategy.
  • An improved licensing model will help justify investments and expand the number of client access devices users can access applications from.

What may have gone unnoticed was that this is all part of Microsoft's desktop strategy, which includes things that were highlighted in today's announcement (like VDI). There is a much bigger picture to keep in mind, though. Application virtualization, migration to Windows 7, user personalization, and offline desktop access are all key ingredients, as is the importance of desktop management across the different deployment models (physical or virtual).

The desktop virtualization market is still in its infancy and interest from customers is high. This news from Microsoft should help bring some clarification to the table as businesses look at enforcing compliance and regulatory requirements, securing confidential data, simplifying IT management, and ultimately improving end user experience.

HP also jumped into the ring, announcing future support for Microsoft RemoteFX to enhance the user multimedia experience and released Remote Desktop Client (RDC) 7 add-on to lower the impact on IT resources and make efficient use of network resources.

Microsoft also hosted a Phil Donahue style event with executives from Microsoft and Citrix as well as a good customer panel. It's worth jumping around the recordings if you are following the market or partnering with Microsoft at any level in the space.

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Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.