eWeek’s Debra Donston has penned down five ways the end user desktop in enterprises will look different in five years. While some of her ideas and predictions make a low of sense, there are a few things which are slightly debatable. Mostly, the reliance on virtualisation and web applications.In the article, Donston places a lot of emphasis on virtualisation, basically stating that within five years, virtualisation will play an ever important role. While most certainly its role will increase, I’m not sure as to what extent. Seperating the client software environment from the client hardware environment, as eWeek calls it, is not exactly a new idea; the thin client and the networked computer have been around for a long time, but never lived up to their promises. While performance of virtualisation products has indeed improved greatly over the past few years, I’m simply not certain if enough has changed between the thin client of yesteryear and the virtualisation products of today.
The second important development she mentions is the importance of web applications. While web applications may have their merits, there will always be the inevitable performance penalty – something you really don’t want when you are running Photoshop. In addition, the intertubes can get clogged, and break – how would you like your company to come to a grinding halt whenever the internet has performance issues?
Lastly, there’s the issue of application availability. When a traditional application vendor goes down, that’s bad – but you still have the company’s software on your computers, running safe and sound, giving you the time to find a replacement. If a web application company goes down – your applications are gone. Again, I’m not so sure if companies will like that idea.
Anyway, feel free to make up your own mind, and apart form the above, she makes some good points.