Today at the Microsoft Management Summit (MMS) in Las Vegas, Brad Anderson, General Manager in the Management and Services Division at Microsoft, kicked off the day with the keynote “Managing the Dynamic Desktop.” He introduced the concept of the dynamic desktop. A desktop environment that understands the flexible work and lifestyles of your now mobile workforce – one that provides a consistent experience for the user independent of device and location.
This requires a management model that places the user at the center and not the computing device. The device is critically important in a dynamic desktop – but the device is transient – where the user is always consistent. Mobility is now a lifestyle and work style requirement.
Brad stated that half of the world’s population or 3.5 billion people now carry phones. People expect that the mobile lifestyles they are living in their personal lives to be available in their work environment. Brad used himself as an example. In the morning, he gets up and works on a laptop in the kitchen. As he drives into work he checks and answers e-mail on a Smartphone. When in the office, he works on his desktop – and throughout the day he moves between meetings on a laptop. In the evenings, like most of us, after the kids have gone to bed he works in the home office from his personal desktop.
During the course of a single day he traverses multiple client computing scenarios – one size doesn’t fit all his computing needs. The ways that you would deliver a rich client experience with access to applications and data from a device that is non-managed and non- company owned is far different than the methodologies used to deliver the client experience to your traditional desktop. But this should not mean a separate management and deployment infrastructure.
Delivering the User Focused Desktop
Edwin Yuen demonstrated a consistent and seamless user experience across three desktop delivery models. He showed the rapid deployment to a laptop of a virtualized application – where he accessed a PowerPoint file. He then accessed that same file via terminal services. Finally he showed the file accessed through a hosted virtual desktop (VDI) – all deployed and managed through System Center, Windows and the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) for Software Assurance.
During his keynote, Brad also announced System Center Configuration Manager 2007 Service Pack 1 (SP1)would be available in May and System Center Configuration Manager 2007 R2 release candidate would be available in July. SP1 provides deeper management of the hardware layer through integration with Intel’s vPro technologies. Brad also discussed a new asset intelligence service-based connection for Configuration Manager 2007 SP1 that dynamically updates users’ catalog knowledge based on changing asset conditions.
The Configuration Manager 2007 R2 release natively integrates Microsoft Application Virtualization distribution and streaming technology into the Configuration Manager infrastructure. R2 also provides SQL Reporting Services and deeper integration with Forefront security services.
He also announced details on the product roadmaps for specific tools within the Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack – all available in the third quarter of this year. Microsoft Application Virtualization 4.5 Release Candidate 1 is scheduled for June 2008 and will be available to customers on Microsoft Connect.
Microsoft’s Rich Desktop Virtualization Technologies
Virtualization is a key enabler for the dynamic desktop. Brad asserted that Microsoft has the broadest and richest set of virtualization capabilities for the desktop – bar none. Microsoft has invested in significant investments in virtualization on the desktop with the System Center infrastructure. We just acquired a company named Callista which improves the thin-client and virtualized desktop user experience in high demand graphic environment. MDOP, which contains Microsoft’s application virtualization is the fastest selling v1 product in the history of Microsoft volume licensing. And Brad discussed our announced intention to acquire a company named Kidaro, which provides a seamless windows experience on Virtual PC. He announced that we expect the Kidaro acquisition to close in May.
This Kidaro technology will be delivered through MDOP – and integrated with System Center in ways that are similar to what we have done with Application Virtualization. This is key differentiation for our customers. We are building an integrated solution across presentation, application and hardware virtualization – all managed through System Center. System Center manages the desktop – from the physical to the virtual options and from the hardware through the user and data settings.
Attached Knowledge Services
Finally, Brad asked Neal Myerson up to preview Attached Knowledge Services, a future service offering provided on top of the System Center family of products with the goal improving IT Service health by providing the right knowledge to effectively operate an IT infrastructure. Through this opt-in service, we can analyze data from our customer’s ConfigMgr and OpsMgr servers to help them through our services and interaction with the System Center community better manage their IT infrastructure.
Brad wrapped up by saying we aren’t done delivering on the promise of a user-centered computing model. That we have shown today some of the available technologies to better manage the dynamic desktop, but that the next steps offer a system that intelligently adapts to deliver an optimized experience to the user.
The video should be posted here shortly.
Thanks for reading!
Senior Product Manager
System Center Marketing