Now that Microsoft has officially rolled out its desktop virtualization strategy, there is a lot more clarity in the world in terms of licensing and cost.
Of course, Microsoft wants customers to line up around its approach to desktop virtualization. But in reality, we're going to not only see a lot more instances of hybrid desktop virtualization deployments involving thin clients, notebooks and desktops running different types of desktop virtualization software, but also servers running a mix of VMware, Microsoft and Citrix software.
This new-found diversity on the desktop may add complexity to the overall IT decision making process, but the potential benefits of desktop virtualization in terms of lower total costs should outweigh that. The choices include not only Microsoft, Citrix and VMware, but also companies such as Wanova, Wyse and Virtual Bridges.
Of course, there are still issues to be worked out. Namely, the performance of desktop virtualization solutions may not be everything we desire, and support for mobile devices ranging from smartphones to notebooks still needs to be worked on.
But as Jeff Groudan, director of client virtualization for Hewlett-Packard, notes, Microsoft's long-awaited seal of approval for desktop virtualization will help to expand the overall market by simplifying licensing terms. And for many IT organizations, that is half the battle right there.