There’s a battle going on over the next version of your work PC and Cisco wants in.The networking giant today announced that it will be selling two competing software apps (from VMware and Citrix) that will let any device run applications for any operating system … such as letting an Android device run Windows apps.
The trick: Each device connects over a network to another server running the operating system they actually need.
The concept is called desktop virtualization and it’s been growing in popularity because It solves giant, expensive headaches involved with keeping computers updated and secure. Citrix says that its XenDesktop is now being used to serve Windows applications on 1.5 billion devices.
Cisco today said that it will be bundling VMware’s VMware View 5 software onto its popular servers, the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS). Likewise, it will be doing the same with a competing product, Citrix XenDesktop.
There is one possible drawback to desktop virtualization: higher software costs. The details are complicated, but basically Microsoft has used its enterprise licensing agreements to make it more expensive to use desktop virtualization than to run Microsoft applications directly on PCs.
While Cisco can do nothing to stop Microsoft’s fees, it can help enterprises compensate by reducing costs in other areas. Cisco is promising that when enterprises buy a UCS server equipped with desktop virtualization software, they will save money overall on things like the cost of the servers and the cost to keep these desktops secure.