Windows 7 migration a driver for seeding VDI adoption
Migration to Windows 7 is an impending event and it will happen, since Windows XP was released in 2001 and is already over 7 years old, while new generations of processors (multi-core, 64-bit, Intel VT), chip sets, graphics cards, audio cards, and disk interfaces (e.g., SATA), which were developed after XP gained mainstream adoption, are already shiiping in commodity computer hardware today.
63% of all desktops/laptops/workstations worldwide use XP, 23% use Vista; the remaining market share is fragmented across other Windows, Mac, Linux and OS’s mobile devices. [Net Applications Operating Systems Market Share report.]
XP has lost 10% market share between May 2008 and March 2009, while Vista gained just over 8% [Net Applications Top Operating Systems Share Trend report.] I am presuming that 8% of the XP users migrated to Vista and the remaining 2% siezed this opportunity to migrate to a Mac instead
The migration from Vista to Windows 7 should be smooth since the latter is an incremental release of the former. However, the migration from XP to Windows 7 poses some of the same structural challenges outlined in my earlier post.
At the end of the day, end users care about running their applications and expect to continue to do so over the course of routine hardware and OS refresh cycles – the hardware and OS have become a commodity. The challenge for Microsoft, and the enormous market opportunity, is to provide solutions that can permit a seamless migration from XP to Windows 7 such that end users can continue to use all of their existing applications from the same desktop cost-effectively.
While the Windows 7 migration is not a dislocating event by itself, its timing coincides with the business need to move to a modern hardware and desktop OS, which encourages corporate customers to look at alternate ways of managing the desktop. The Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) vendors are viewing it as an opportunity to gain adoption for their VDI offerings – Citrix XenDesktop, Microsoft MED-V, VMWare View.
In upcoming posts, I will outline the alternative that Microsoft is offering to smoothen the upgrade path from XP to Windows 7.