Intel, Citrix To Collaborate On Virtualized Desktops

A two-tier virtualization hierarchy, where a central server feeds interactions to a corporate desktop and a client hypervisor takes over after the user disconnects, is envisioned.
"This is Intel, Citrix, and Microsoft working together to get Windows delivered to a virtualized endpoint," he added. Citrix and Microsoft remain close partners and have agreed to use the same virtual machine file format. Dhingra said Citrix foresees related changes sweeping through corporate IT once the two-tier hypervisor hierarchy is available. One is that companies will let employees buy their own preferred laptop, just as they own their own cell phones, then download the corporate desktop onto it. Home personal computing will co-exist with the business desktop but be isolated from it, because of secure virtual machine restrictions.

Corporate data will be more freely available for use on laptops and mobile devices but will be stored in an encrypted fashion on them. If the laptop is lost or stolen, corporate data will suffer little exposure. Corporate data created on the laptop will be synchronized with central databases, so it can't be lost for lack of a backup.

Desktop management will be policy driven and subject to much greater automated administration. "You will spend more on coffee and office supplies than desktop management," predicted Dhingra, which means desktop administration expenses will sink far below Gartner's estimated current expense of $4,000 to $7,000 per user.

Employees will access their corporate desktops from whatever device is most convenient at the time, just as they access e-mail from BlackBerrys and cell phones, Dhingra predicted.

Employees will switch back and forth between personal computing and business computing "without thinking twice," since both will be resident on the same machine, he added.

Citrix's final prediction was that users wouldn't complain about their desktops being too slow, the complaint that sprang up with many early attempts to virtualize the client.

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