[VISTA] Update: Windows Optimized Desktop for the Enterprise


FS Owner
I'm relaying the following article on behalf of my colleague Shanen Boettcher, General Manager of Windows Product Management for the enterprise.
We've been talking with a lot of organizations about what they need most from an optimized desktop experience, and we've been making great progress in delivering against those needs. I want to take this opportunity to share details on the Windows Optimized Desktop Scenarios and highlight some news. If you've been reading this blog regularly, you will have seen updates on the work we're doing with the Optimized Desktop. I contributed a blog on this in January for our Virtualization Strategy Day and a second blog about the announcements we had made at the Microsoft Management Summit (MMS) in Las Vegas in late April. While there are many facets to the Optimized Desktop, the framework is based on technologies that enable decoupling the traditional desktop stack of hardware, operating system, applications, data, settings and user profiles, making desktop management more efficient and easing change and user migration.
This is all based on the core technologies in Windows Vista, Microsoft Optimized Desktop Pack (MDOP) and System Center. With these technologies companies can create a flexible desktop environment - one where users can log on to any managed PC connected to the corporate network and have the same familiar environment and access to applications and data, while enabling IT departments to reduce costs and deliver applications and data services that are compliant with their data security and regulatory requirements.
We are continuing to invest in adding more new tools to this pack. We've invested over $400 million in developing and expanding MDOP thus far, and I'm very excited to share with you that we have officially finalized the acquisition of Kidaro Technologies, whose products enable a seamless combination of applications running from within both a host and guest OS. This technology will help enable end users to run applications from multiple versions of Windows at the same time, with seamless windowing and menus, and without the confusion of logging into and seeing multiple virtual machine desktops. The product teams are working closely with our new colleagues from Kidaro to incorporate the desktop virtualizationtechnologies into MDOP in the first half of 2009, under the new product name Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization. We will continue investing here because we know manageability is fundamental to broad corporate use of desktop virtualization.
We've sold over 6.5 million licenses of MDOP to date, making it the fastest-selling volume licensing product in Microsoft history. It's worth noting that 60 percent of IT Pros who are familiar with MDOP have told us they intend to deploy MDOP within the next 12 months. For those organizations that have purchased and are deploying MDOP, we owe you a heartfelt "thank you." We hope you are as excited about this new technology as we are and are beginning to explore the Kidaro Web site to learn more about what it is and how it can help your organization. For organizations still wondering if MDOP can help reduce costs and provide richer services to your end users, perhaps this new acquisition will encourage you to look again.
We've been talking a lot about the benefits of MDOP and other Microsoft virtualization technology, so I want to spend a few minutes talking about how we can address the needs of IT organizations while helping them deliver the flexible and agile client computing required by their business users. I've been speaking with a lot of CIOs around the world over the past few months, and there are key trends in client computing that increasingly impact our customers' client architectures. A company's ability to address these trends will ultimately define user productivity across the organization:

  • Consumerization. Today many organizations are faced with potential new hires, coming from universities, with personal computers and cell phones that provide power and personality. They expect to have the same or even greater computing power at their fingertips at whatever organization they choose to work for. It's important that you don't lose a good hire because the flexibility they yearn for is not available. How do you ensure you can meet this challenge?
  • Carbon-Neutral. Many organizations around the world have initiatives to reduce power consumption and increase environmental awareness and responsibility. IT can play a critical role here. Using power management features in Windows Vista can help reduce power consumption. Extending the life of older PCs can save on hardware acquisition costs, but more important, it can also reduce the amount of non-biodegradable technology that hurts our environment by languishing in landfills. Are you able to use your older hardware for a little longer while still providing your users with the latest applications they need to be successful in their jobs?
  • Contingency. What if there is a major flood or snowstorm and a significant part of your workforce cannot get into the office to work, or if airlines ban laptops on flights? It's imperative that your users can still have access to their applications, data and settings from wherever they are. Are you prepared for such events?
  • Costs. Of course, reducing costs is on the top-of-mind of all IT Pros, from the Support Engineer to the CIO. How can you deploy a powerful and flexible desktop across the organization, but do it efficiently?
  • Compliance. Organizations around the world are now required by law or industry regulations to protect sensitive data. Over $30 billion has been spent worldwide in becoming and staying compliant, and that cost will continue to rise. How do you give users the flexibility to easily access data critical to their jobs, yet protect that data at the same time?
These are all significant issues many of you are facing today, so we've created five Windows Optimized Desktop Scenarios that outline solutions for different types of customers. It's important to realize that no "one size" desktop fits every user's needs. These scenarios highlight how you can use OS, application and user state virtualization to deliver very flexible yet manageable environments for your users:

By examining the different user scenarios within your organization, and taking advantage of technologies such as BitLocker Drive Encryption, Folder Redirection, Offline Files, Microsoft Application Virtualization and Windows Vista Enterprise Centralized Desktop (VECD), you can find the right balance of end-user flexibility and IT management and control. I encourage you to look at these technologies within the context of the Windows Optimized Desktop Scenarios and explore how they can help your organization focus on what's most important for the business, while nurturing a more flexible and productive IT environment.
We've recently refreshed our Windows Vista Enterprise Web site to include up-to-date information on the Windows Optimized Desktop. I encourage you to spend some time there and see how your organization can realize value from these solutions. We look forward to continuing this conversation and helping you realize the benefits of the Optimized Desktop within your organization!
-- Shanen