Desktop OS upgrade options greater than ever

Windows 7 finally delivers what Vista should have done three years ago. Application issues have all been greatly improved with Windows 7, it works well...

Windows 7 finally delivers what Vista should have done three years ago. Application issues have all been greatly improved with Windows 7, it works well on old hardware and a raft of additional features make it a viable consideration for migration over the next few years, writes Andy Goddard, Practice Leader at IT services company Computacenter.

In reality, a desktop device just provides access to services and applications, and the way in which desktop services are delivered, or will be delivered in the future, has changed with the advent of cloud services.

Virtualisation of the desktop is starting to become a technical reality (if not a financial one). One could argue that a consistent working experience regardless of user location is becoming a more important factor than just putting a new desktop operating system and office productivity applications in front of an end-user as part of a desktop upgrade.

Microsoft offers a suite of virtualisation tools, but these require the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack, which is only available through its Software Assurance licence scheme.

Alternatives are available from both VMware (with ThinApp) and Citrix with XenApp integration, both of which may take market share if the value-add offered by Microsoft's tools is not considered compelling enough.

There is much to consider for any CIO looking for the right platform to provide corporate access for end-users. There has never been more choice on how best to provide access to key services for users, as well as how to provide these services, with more flexibility at lowest cost, from day one to five years from now.

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