Microsoft plugs cheaper VDI alternative

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Microsoft plugs cheaper VDI alternative

War with VMware hots up.

In its continuing battle with leading virtualisation vendor VMware, Microsoft has announced new initiatives to try to take market share in the desktop virtualisation space, concentrating heavily on making virtualised desktops – virtualised desktop infrastructure (VDI) – cheaper.

Accordingly, the software giant has announced an expanded partnership with enterprise software vendor Citrix, and introduced simpler and cheaper licensing models along with new features.

Microsoft marketing communications director for server and tools Patrick O'Rourke said that the key offer for firms deploying desktop virtualisation and looking for cost savings was its "Rescue for VMware VDI,” offer.

"This allows customers to trade in up to 500 VMware View [VMware's VDI system] licences for Microsoft's corresponding VDI Suite Standard package, and also the Citrix XenDesktop VDI edition, at no additional cost," said O'Rourke.

As well as the financial incentives for customers to ditch VMware's solution, Microsoft is touting new features, including one called Roaming Rights. This allows users access to their VDI-based desktop operating systems accessible through laptops, PCs, or thin client devices, remotely.

Other new features include a Windows XP mode which is no longer dependent on specific Intel or AMD processors so that Windows 7 can run a Windows XP virtual machine.

Microsoft has also announced two new features enabled when Windows Server 2008 R2 service pack one is released. One allows server administrators to adjust the memory utilisation of a virtualised desktop on demand, which would mean being able to configure which person gets priority access to server memory.

The second feature is that RemoteFX will allow virtualised desktop users to view content in 3D when accessing their desktops outside the corporate firewall.

The final announcement is a new technology agreement with Citrix to work together to enable high-definition user experience technology in Citrix's XenDesktop system.

itweek.co.uk @ 2010 Incisive Media
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