Why desktop virtualization is bad news for Windows 8

Desktop virtualization has been around long before the market for personal computers began to slide.

While virtual desktop infrastructures (VDI) along with the popularity of tablets devices may be contributing factors to dwindling PC sales, VDI could also be blamed for the bad fortune suffered by Microsoft Corp.’s Windows 8 operating system.

While many businesses bought into VDI from a cost savings perspective, a growing number of firms are deploying virtual desktop technologies because of the “flexible work style” they enable, according to David Johnston, analyst for Forrester Research.

The concept of VDI involves hosting a user’s desktop session on a server instead of on the user’s local machine. This method allowed companies to avoid the cost of purchasing full software licenses for each employee. It also improved the ability of IT departments to control and monitor the use of thin clients and zero clients.

However, Johnson said, VDI is also now allowing organization to take advantage of the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) trend. For instance, where some companies in the past purchased a workplace computer and a home computer for their employee, desktop virtualization now allows that a personal laptop to double as an office BYOD device – even if the worker wants to use a MacBook in a Windows workplace.


B.C. university deploying Dell zero client
Prepping the network for VDI

Desktop virtualization has also turned tablet devices into more viable PC replacements.

Many users are hesitant to ditch their PC’s since many business applications such as Microsoft Office have not been made available to iOS of Android tablets. However, desktop virtualization continues to weather away at this barrier.

Microsoft Office is now the most commonly used desktop application used on tablets. Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint are in the top 10.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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