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Analysis: Why Microsoft is killing desktop virtualisation

Desktop virtualisation is hurting the company's profits

There are no new ideas, just the same ones given a new twist. That's certainly true for virtualisation, which is very close to the age-old concept of centralised server-based computing that originated with the first mainframes in the 1970s.

Although server virtualisation has gained a sizable foothold in the Intel-based server market, the desktop market has not seen such advances. There are many reasons for this, including technology limitations that are only now being worked out, but a key one is the hostility to virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) by Microsoft, as expressed in its Windows software licence restrictions.

The licensing agreements for Windows 2000 Professional and Windows XP Professional never allowed for the virtualisation of these products. That didn't keep some enterprises from doing it anyway, nor, to my knowledge, has Microsoft ever held any of these early adopters' feet to the fire over this issue.

Perhaps because threatening a customer that has legally purchased a few thousand licences of your product and used them in a way you didn't foresee doesn't make the best business sense.

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NEXT PAGE: Microsoft's licensing rules for VDI cost you more

  1. Desktop virtualisation is hurting the company's profits
  2. Microsoft's licensing rules for VDI cost you more
  3. VDI is good for enterprises, but not for Microsoft


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