Virtual desktops to reach 40pc of professional PC market

30 Mar 2010

Desktop virtualisation is set to rocket in the business and technology arena and will be a US$65bn market in 2013 – effectively 40pc of the overall professional PC market, Patrick Irwin of Citrix told the Microsoft Virtualisation Summit in Dublin today.

Irwin, who is Citrix field product marketing manager, was speaking at today’s Microsoft Virtualisation Summit in Dublin.

He said that Citrix, the traditional enabler in the thin client computing space which today has created 30 new jobs in Dublin, has millions of desktop users around the world using its solutions. The company has 215,000 customers worldwide who host their data on servers and drive services to the desktop.

“We believe that in the next two to three years, hosted virtualised desktops will become pervasive across most organisations. Windows 7 is a good driver behind this trend. Some 60pc of desktops will be touched by virtualisation in some way by the end of 2012.”

He pointed to a Citrix poll of 190 customers asking them when they were moving to Windows 7. Some 56pc will make the move in the next 12 months and this will reach 82pc within 18 months.

Asked if these businesses planned to deploy desktop virtualisation or deploy the technology at some level, 28pc said they would do so in the course of the next 12 months, rising to 64pc within 18 months.

Operating system migration fear

Sixty-one per cent said that application compatibility is their biggest fear when migrating to a new operating system.

Versatility and control are the key reasons why organisations are looking particularly hard at desktop virtualisation. “I could be running Microsoft Word on my PC at work but in fact it is running in a data centre somewhere, where it and my documents are safe and secure. My CIO has no concern if my PC leaves the building.”

Irwin cited the example of the Leicestershire Police Constabulary, which made the move to virtual desktops. “Officers realised that they were spending 60pc of their time in a station doing paper work and had to access 50 or 60 different apps to work between agencies. They decided to move to a virtual desktop infrastructure.

“So now police on the beat have access to a ruggedised PC device. The device carries no data because all of this exists in the data centre and is backed up over a wireless network. The police are assured that there is no data on the end point. The PC is just a receiving device, the data is just painted onto the screen. If some thug stole the computer there is no data on the device because in order to work with the data it has to be connected to the data centre.

“When it comes to virtualisation, businesses are changing their mindset and are beginning to think of desktops as a service, end-point devices that the data is delivered out to,” Irwin said.

By John Kennedy

Photo: Patrick Irwin, Citrix field product marketing manager

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years