Windows 8: Desktop as a Service?


In the wild country of rumours about Windows 8, there’s a new entry:  Desktop as a Service (thanks to Mary-Jo Foley for the heads-up).  Some slides have indeed leaked from the London Microsoft architectural summit in April 2010 showing Microsoft’s vision of the next step for Windows virtualization.

The virtualization of the applications was done with App-V in Windows 7 while the virtualization of the OS is meant to mean native vhd booting.  That is already done in Windows 7 although it requires a bit of tweaking.

So we are left to speculate about Desktop as a Service (DaaS), although one of the slide gives some hints:

The desktop should not be associated with the device. (T)he desktop can be thought of as a portal which surfaces the users apps, data, user state and authorisation and access.

Now that is interesting.  With Office 365 (aka BPOS) for the server side of the apps, maybe Microsoft will eventually provide all the client apps as a service as well.

This would go a long way to resolve enterprise IT’s headaches where the migration from Windows XP is a major issue and the benefits rarely outweigh the costs.  With a more lightweight OS and DaaS, a migration would be a better value proposition.  This wouldn’t remove one of the big cost of migration though:  training.

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