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Desktop revolution virtually here

Virtualisation technology, which allows PCs to run more than one operating system, is set to change the way users run their...

Virtualisation technology, which allows PCs to run more than one operating system, is set to change the way users run their desktops, analyst firm Gartner has said.

PC virtualisation technology decouples PC hardware and software, allowing multiple operating systems to run simultaneously on a single desktop. Gartner said virtualisation will enable IT departments to implement more efficient support policies, achieve cost-effective PC support outsourcing contracts and drive total cost of ownership savings in PC deployment.

According to Gartner, users could deploy two different environments: an unlocked desktop to allow them to install software, and a managed environment complying with security policies, enabling the IT department to retain control over security.

Gartner vice-president Brian Gammage warned that the IT industry will need to play catch-up, particularly in terms of licensing. He said, "Changes in the way software is licensed are inevitable. Virtualisation will challenge the one licence per user ratio."

Gammage said suppliers may use virtualisation to sell more licences. He said, "Few [suppliers] have woken up to this deployment and there is little consensus on how they might respond."

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