For the past two years IT managers have been steadily losing control over the desktop. For the better part of a decade, many of them have been able to enforce Windows-only mandates that helped reduce the headaches associated with systems management. But slowly but surely, Apple Macintosh systems and even a few Linux desktops have crept into the enterprise.
But now it looks like the Windows-only mentality on the desktop is also going to come under assault from Google in two forms. The first is Chromium, an operating system that Google developed around its Chrome browser technology, and the second is Android, an operating system that Google developed for smartphones that is now being extended up to netbooks.
Apple and Google collectively will hold enough sway with end users to force the Windows-only issue within large corporations. This is why Jim Alves, executive vice president of strategy and product marketing for Kaseya, which makes an IT systems management platform, argues that instead of fighting users over the merits of any given operating system, the time has come to make a strategic withdrawal in the form of deploying systems management platforms that can handle all forms of diversity at the client, ranging from smartphones to workstations.
In fact, rather than thinking about systems management in terms of operating systems and devices, the time might be at hand to also focus more on management in terms of data governance and who has access to what. Whatever the ultimate outcome, Chrome is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to new types of clients that are all clamoring for support. And just saying no is no longer going to be a viable option.