Menu
Forrester: Microsoft opens virtual desktop options

Forrester: Microsoft opens virtual desktop options

Licensing remains expensive and complicated for enterprises, but Microsoft is allowing new usage scenarios

Changes Microsoft has made to its desktop virtualization licensing are giving enterprises more scenarios for how they can virtualize Windows XP or Vista on corporate desktops, but it's still a complicated and relatively expensive endeavor, according to a recent report by Forrester Research.

Effective Jan. 1, Microsoft loosened some previous restrictions regarding how PCs can access a virtualized corporate desktop of Windows PCs in its Vista Enterprise Centralized Desktop (VECD) license, Forrester analyst Natalie Lambert wrote in the report, "Desktop Virtualization: The Updated Rules Of The Road For Virtualizing Windows."

However, the licensing is still tied to Software Assurance (SA), Microsoft's costly enterprise maintenance and update service, and Microsoft still requires companies to license Windows on top of whichever enabling virtualization software - its own, VMware or another competitor's - a company is using, she said.

"It's still very complicated, but the scenarios are opening up to make the vision of desktop virtualization possible," Lambert said.

Desktop virtualization allows an enterprise to run a virtual image of a user's desktop, complete with OS, applications and data an employee would normally have access to, in the data center rather than locally. Companies can, among other things, use this to take the cost out of their IT environments.

The changes to VECD licensing in particular open up two scenarios that allow contractors and full-time employees of enterprises to use their own PCs to access a virtualized corporate desktop that are among the problems enterprises are trying to solve using virtualization, she said.

On one hand, enterprises are trying to reduce the number of IT assets they provide to employees to reduce costs, Lambert said. This is particularly true with contractors who don't work full time for a company. On the other, full-time employees want access to their corporate desktops even when they are not in the office, which is another problem desktop virtualization can solve.

If an enterprise had virtualized its desktop PCs on a corporate network even before Jan. 1, these scenarios were possible, she said, but were not allowed under the previous version of VECD. Now Microsoft is allowing them, but with some caveats and additional fees, Lambert said.

The new licensing works like this: If an enterprise already has SA covering all of its devices, it costs them US$23 per device, per year, to grant employees the ability to access their corporate PCs through their company's virtualized desktop.

If a PC is not covered by SA - say, in the case of a contracted offshore developer working in India without a Microsoft SA contract - then it costs $110 per device, per year to grant someone access to the virtualized corporate desktop. Moreover, the company that wants to give a contractor access to the virtualized network has to purchase a business version of Vista or XP and have it installed on the contractor's PC for that person to legally under VECD access the virtualized network, Lambert said.

Employees who want to bring their own computers to work and use the corporate virtual desktop environment can access a Windows virtualized desktop environment for $110 per device, per year, but only if each employee who wants to do this already has purchased a copy of Windows and has it running on a PC that they own, Lambert said.

This type of scenario even makes it possible for an employee who prefers working on an Apple Mac computer rather than a Windows PC to use that computer at work to access the corporate desktop network, she added.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Microsoftvirtualisationvirtual desktops

Featured

Slideshows

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners

This year’s Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards were held as an integral part of the first entirely virtual Emerging Leaders​ forum, an annual event dedicated to identifying, educating and showcasing the New Zealand technology market’s rising stars. The 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 recognised the outstanding achievements and business excellence of 30 talented individuals​, across both young leaders and those just starting out. In this slideshow, Reseller News honours this year's winners and captures their thoughts about how their ideas of leadership have changed over time.​

Meet the Reseller News 30 Under 30 Tech Awards 2020 winners
Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security

Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security

This exclusive Reseller News Exchange event in Auckland explored the challenges facing the partner community on the cloud security frontier, as well as market trends, customer priorities and how the channel can capitalise on the opportunities available. In association with Arrow, Bitdefender, Exclusive Networks, Fortinet and Palo Alto Networks. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Reseller News Exchange Auckland: Beyond the myths — how partners can master cloud security
Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomed 2019 inductees - Leanne Buer, Ross Jenkins and Terry Dunn - to the fourth running of the Reseller News Hall of Fame lunch, held at the French Cafe in Auckland. The inductees discussed the changing face of the IT channel ecosystem in New Zealand and what it means to be a Reseller News Hall of Fame inductee. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Reseller News welcomes industry figures at 2020 Hall of Fame lunch
Show Comments