A few years ago I wrote a 40 page whitepaper on Virtual Desktops. I extolled the virtues of what seemed to me to be an obvious decision. You take the hundreds or thousands of desktops in your office and cost $600 per system and replace them with little boxes that cost $40 and a one tenth as many small servers that cost $2500. Not only do you end up saving $3100 for every 10 systems that you virtualize, but you get a number of other gains. Performance will actually increase since you can shift resources from users that aren’t doing much to users that are. You can harvest the extra compute capacity when the office is closed and no one is using the systems. You get real HA and DR for your desktop systems. Repair becomes as simple as throwing a $40 box away (or sending it back to the manufacturer) and replacing it with a new one. I couldn’t believe every single client that we pitched the idea to said that they liked it, bought the white paper, and then bought desktops.
I learned something valuable in that process. People are afraid to mess with their users in even the slightest way, even if it could mean big ROI. That’s why when I read that LG and VMWare have been working together on phone virtualization and that a prototype is actually working, I tempered my initial enthusiasm. The idea of being able to take one phone and switch back and forth between work and home by (for example, I don’t know how they do it), clicking the side button is AWESOME. But that’s the geek in me speaking, the practical business person looks at the lack of adoption of Google Voice and Virtual Desktops and doubts that this will ever be a market success. Anyone disagree?