Last week during the podcast we did with Raytheon, we got to talking about VMI (like VDI, but instead of desktop clients connecting to remote virtual desktops, it's mobile clients connecting to remote virtual mobile apps). The topic of "user experience of VDI" came up, with most people agreeing that the user experience of VDI on a tablet was not good.
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But why is that?
It's not because of the "VDI-ness" of things. It's not because you're remoting your applications. (Heck, the entire web is really just one big remote app.) Rather, VDI sucks on tablets because VDI is about delivering Windows applications that were designed to be used from devices with big screens, keyboards, and precision pointing devices.
So if all the tablets in the world were connecting to remote iOS or Android apps, users wouldn't complain nearly as much as they do when IT makes them connect to remote Windows desktop applications.
I'd be curious to conduct an end-user survey that was two questions long:
- Do you love VDI?
- How big is the screen you use VDI from?
Do I love VDI? Yeah.
Do I love the form factor transformation that's forced upon users who access Windows desktop apps from tablets? No.
If the tables were turned, and VDI was only used to deliver iOS apps to desktops and laptops, people would hate it, but they wouldn't blame VDI. (They would blame having to use a phone app from a laptop.) So why do we blame VDI for the poor experience of using a desktop app from a mobile device?