End User Computing with VMware

The desktop PC is dead! Finally!

Well, not yet, but VMware is sure working hard to make this a reality. I have been discussing with clients and colleagues why the traditional desktop model does not make sense for “today’s” end user for quite a few “todays.” VMware calls a user-centric approach to computing End User Computing. End users need access to their applications and information on any device from anywhere. They should not know or care about the nuances of the Operating System. This sounds like a lofty goal, but it is becoming a reality more and more every year.

If we look at the last decade (or even further into the 90’s), we have seen the Operating System itself have the spotlight. New “Operating System” features were actually marketed towards end users.

  • The latest OS supports more RAM!
  • The latest OS supports 64-bit computing!
  • The latest OS supports Solid State Flash Drives!
  • The latest OS can take advantage of a USB drive to cache your file searches and access! (What?)

I can’t think of one real end user (IT folks don’t count, sorry) that cares about any of the above. Operating System, you had your chance in the spotlight. It’s time to fade into the background where you belong. End users care about their applications to get work and play done. Operating Systems just get in the way of delivering those applications more often than not.

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure certainly eases the pain of managing the Operating System for the IT Administrator while still giving the end user a computing experience that they are accustomed to. For some end users the desktop that they are accustomed to will be adequate. For some users, IT needs to deliver a computing experience beyond what they are accustomed to. No start menus, no shortcuts, no c: drive, d: drive, etc. What I’m talking about is an end user experience where the applications take front and center on any device from anywhere. This is exactly the type of technology that VMware has been working on and was previewed at VMworld 2011. They are calling it Project Appblast.

Imagine being able to launch any application (including Windows Applications) using nothing more than an HTML-5 compliant browser. Below is a technical preview of this exciting project from VMware.

The desktop PC and Operating System’s days are numbered. Bring on the apps.

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