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Fujitsu Siemens chief predicts the empty desktop

Is that a virtualised environment in your pocket?

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CeBIT PC companies need to start planning their escape from the desktop, the CTO of Fujitsu Siemens Computers warned today.

Joseph Reger told journalists at CeBIT that virtualised client PC environments which could be carried on small devices were likely to take a big bite out of traditional client PCs.

Technologies are emerging that will allow users to upload their settings, documents, applications, etc, onto a portable device - say a phone or even a flash drive - and put their desktop in their pocket.

They could then activate their environment as they moved from location to location, say on some kind of thin client setup in their company's office, or through something similar in a hotel room. While the iPhone, or Samsung's and Nokia's latest phones pointed towards what this device might eventually look like, no one had cracked the problem yet, Reger said.

Nevertheless, said Reger: "In the future, we will be dealing with less devices [and] PC vendors need to learn how to deal with that."

Reger was at pains to point out that this did not mean less devices overall would be sold into the market. The industry was still on a growth curve, and consumers show an astounding appetite for new gadgets to stuff in their pockets. They just might have slightly fewer pockets, depending how the virtualised client pans out.

Reger added that while virtualised environments meant people could transport their virtualised environment from place to place, it didn't address the needs of those who wanted to be productive as they move. For that reason, laptops would still fulfil a need.

At the same time, virtualised environments presupposed a hefty amount of infrastructure, whether held by companies themselves or service providers. And, funnily enough, servers and mobiles, are the two markets that Fujitsu concentrates on. ®

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