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Enhanced desktop experience

View contains things like an enhanced Microsoft remote desktop protocol (RDP), application virtualisation, USB redirection so that the virtual desktop recognises that a USB device has been plugged into the end-point, and virtual printing so that a compressed Postscript printer file can be sent from the server to the local printer. This file would be sent to the end-point on a separate (virtual) communication channel with settable quality of service so that printing did not slow down the main desktop experience.

The enhanced RDP is able to use end-point computational and graphics processing resources to, for example, render graphic images on the end-point directly rather than have the server do it. This frees up server resources and enables increased virtual machine density on the server.

Certain users with enhanced PC hardware or software such as VOIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) would not have their desktop experience supported by View unless a VMware partner such as Wyse or NEC (for VOIP) supported it. Goldfein said: "VMware has to guarantee a baseline of good enough experience for the majority of users. But we're not in the hardware business and the very best experience will come from partners with this and we'll work with them. The baseline that comes out of the VMware box today is not good enough and needs developing."

The ability to store de-duplicated VDI images very space-effectively is a differentiation for 3PAR, HP's LeftHand Networks, and certain other storage vendors. This differentiation has just been destroyed by View as it by renders their functionality redundant. With View, VMware is effectively commoditising the storage attached to VMware servers.

View supports two desktop environments: Windows (XP or Vista) and Linux, but not Mac OS X as Apple does not want to play VMware's game. It can serve Windows to a Mac OS X machine running VMware Fusion but it can't run a Mac OS X VDI on any machine at all.

VMware's rate of development is unsurprisingly prodigious as it hears Hyper-V's winged chariot drawing near. View is the first iteration of a wave of desktop virtualisation with more to follow. By enhancing VDI in this way it is hoping that its desktop virtualisation becomes the norm in VMware shops and builds up a massive user base before Microsoft can get any Hyper-V equivalent established. That's the Reg view of the situation. ®

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