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Time for a change on the desktop?

Insights from Reg readers

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Remote control for virtualized desktops

Reg Reader Studies A combination of the economic downturn and lack of appetite for Vista means that many have deferred desktop upgrade activity over the past year or two. If the stories of economic green shoots and the virtues of Windows 7 are to be believed, however, we are likely to see desktop modernisation coming into focus again as we look forward.

And as organisations review their desktop estates and evaluate their options, it will be interesting to see how many of them embrace alternatives to the traditional Wintel fat client.

Pretty much every major player in the infrastructure and virtualisation domains, for example, is punting some form of VDI (virtual desktop infrastructure) approach to centralise desktop management and/or desktop workload execution. While mainstream activity levels are relatively low in this area at the moment, there does appear to growing interest, and clearly also lessons to be learned from those with early experiences. If the VDI option is something you are considering, or even if you just want to check out what is going on in this space, you can download our latest reader research report on the topic here.

Apart from going virtual, we then have straight alternatives to Windows in the form of Mac OS X and Linux. Again, while mainstream activity is still relatively limited, there is a growing level of experience and interest out there which we tapped into over the Summer. With the help of Reg readers, we collected some remarkably objective and balanced feedback on where and how Linux might be deployed to best effect. The consensus was that while open source desktops were not right for everyone, costs could be saved by deploying Linux to certain types of user.

Results of the research and a discussion of desktop Linux related considerations and practicalities in general are again written up in a report which can be downloaded, this time from here.

Despite the emerging alternatives, however, we are acutely aware that the majority are likely to continue with the traditional approach in the short to medium term, so the way in which the Windows desktop is evolving is still an extremely important topic. With this in mind, if you haven’t done so already, we would be interested in your responses to our latest survey on exactly this topic. You can get going on this by clicking here. ®

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