Microsoft hates Type 1 client hypervisors. (A guest post by AppDetective)

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I'm fully expecting both Citrix and VMWare to make a big deal about XenClient when it's released shortly and CVP when it get's closer to a release date. Virtual Computer is already out there with a client hypervisor, as is Neocleus.

I'm fully expecting both Citrix and VMWare to make a big deal about XenClient when it's released shortly and CVP when it get's closer to a release date. Virtual Computer is already out there with a client hypervisor, as is Neocleus. But what about Microsoft? They want people to use a Type 2 hypervisor (MED-V) which is just rebranded Kidaro with all the management functionality taken out. Of course you only get this if you buy MDOP which requires Software Assurance. So that's lots of money for MS, but for what purpose? I've posted plenty of posts on this site about what I think of this stupid strategy from the MDOP team. It boils down to more than just stupidity--it's lack of vision and greed. The extent of the Microsoft "vision" is to sell this as an application compatibility feature to stimulate Windows 7 sales. What a joke at the expense of customers who now need to patch two operating systems. Dumb!

Microsoft also recently purchased a company called Sentillion, which also has a product in this space. Who knows whether that's an extension to MED-V or just a special purpose Type 2 play? Either way, it's clear they're doing nothing in the Type 1 space.

I've argued in the past that Type 1 won't matter for a long time for a number of reasons:

  • Type 1 hypervisors will require a hardware refresh cycle since both Citrix and VMWare insist on using VPro which ignores a huge part of the market. Stupid!
  • Type 1 means you need juice to run, and there are lots of netbooks flooding the market where Type 1 just doesn't perform today.
  • There's a lack of mature management for Type 1 hypervisors. Yes Virtual Computer is trying to build this but they've got limited traction. Neocleus doesn't get the management need  and focuses too much on security, although I do give them credit for not requiring VPro.

By far the best management layer I've seen for client hypervisors, is for MokaFive's Type 2 product. (I also really like RingCube, although they're not technically a hypervisor). So will any of these vendors port their management layer to Type 1? Will Citrix or VMWare let them? Type 2 will be around for a long time despite all its short comings with performance and security. 

What about a client hypervisor for BYOPC?

Would you really use a client hypervisor in a bring-you-own-PC scenario? I don't think most people would be comfortable. Imagine a user who goes out and buys a brand-spanking new laptop only to get told by IT to install a hypervisor to run their crap that also degrades the regular performance that the user can't turn off like a running process? For regular users I just don't buy it, no matter how much I like the BYOPC concept and think it's the future for many use cases. 

So how can this be solved?

Type 1 client hypervisors need to be shipped by the hardware manufactures. This would massively reduce the concern around driver support for Type 1 hypervisors. There are already examples of this happening in the netbook world. Companies like DeviceVM do some cool stuff, but these are just appliances which is different to the fully functional desktop. 

Will Microsoft let Type 1 desktop hypervisors get underneath Windows?

Hell F'ing no. There is no way Microsoft wants anybody to become the platform to run Windows clients on. They will do everything in their power to stop this trend. Microsoft sells fat PC OSs per device; they want to sell SA and MDOP with average App-V as the sweetener; and of course they want you to buy massively complex Systems Center. Type 1 client hypervisors disrupt their cash cow business model just like hosted Virtual Desktops (a.k.a. VDI). My question is, "Will Microsoft let OEMs ship Windows on a Type 1 client hypervisor?" I can assure you they will not of their own will, because they're a monopoly protecting their turf until they know how to control the market.

Anti competitive practices at play?

It will be interesting to watch what happens once Citrix and VMWare release their hypervisors. Microsoft for sure will turn the screws on Citrix to make sure they don't get too far with this and I doubt Citrix will have the balls to stand up to Microsoft to simply tell them to F off and wake up to the emerging reality of BYOPC. Citrix has the vision for sure, but execution with Microsoft on their back, I am skeptical. Will the Xen open source community step in? Perhaps, but it will take years unless there's massive incentive to invest. Will Microsoft bully the OEMs to make sure they stay in line? Of course they will, and those OEMs don't want to disrupt their revenue streams. So back to VMWare: They've made it clear that they couldn't care less what Microsoft says. This is probably the greatest hope that there is for Type 1 client Hypervisors to become broadly adopted. VMWare is in a position to force the issue and have enough muscle to get OEMs on board. When it  happens, what will Microsoft do? Will the regulators allow them to control the spread of innovation with their OS? I hope not! 

Perhaps Microsoft builds their own Type 1 offering over several years and plays catch up like Hyper-V? Or should they support the movement and perhaps help Citrix capture the client market keeping VMWare at bay? (In effect keeping control at arms length in a regulatory-friendly way?) Who knows, but with the stupid MDOP team and their lack of anything, the future is bleak and short-sighted only.

Even if Microsoft eventually moves to commoditize the Type 1 client hypervisor, all the value is going to be in the management layer. Whoever builds the best management technology to support the various use cases will be in the strongest position. Again, I like MokaFive here, especially if they ported their management to Type 1. I've not tested XenClient, but I'm sure its management layer (much like CVP's) will be at 1.0 releases in 2010 and we'll all be debating about how bad they are for real world use. (And of course Microsoft is going to want this all to managed with Systems Center tied to SA!)

Wouldn't it be amazing if Microsoft could just wake up and realize that they're a huge bureaucracy that's unable to (or doesn't have the desire to) innovate on the desktop fast enough and instead just focused on supporting new innovation as opposed to blocking it with arcane business models? That would be nice, but buying something once this stuff is baked is lower risk for Microsoft. So even though Type 1 client hypervisors could make more money (since Windows would be more powerful to use), Microsoft is a monopoly who will only move if forced to do so. And unfortunately I don't believe Microsoft will allow Citrix to really build their BYOPC vision at any scale (which is just criminal for the industry and shame on Citrix), meaning that VMWare is in a great position to force the market.

 

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Great post!  hope this is just a first gurst post in a series of many. Seems like you've covered most of the bases, so I just want to highlight a couple of things;


Firstly I really see the need and value of a highly optimized and transparent type 2 hypervisor, Secondly I’m indignant to see that Microsoft is still the same fat, sorry “rich”  pc, client/server lock in company they’ve always been.


The other maneuvers never quite feel warm, not as a company strategy at least.


In that respect I wholeheartly believe that due to the power and position of the Microsoft giant, we need not one Goliath, but an army of them to force change. I believe this is good for the customer, good for the industry and, not least, good for Microsoft.


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Good to see you as a new poster at BrianMadden.com, appdetective!


Are you aware of Windows Server Embedded? It supports virtualization, so Microsoft is theoretically lined-up for a near-type 1 ("type 1,5") hypervisor.


Basically it's up to the OEM's out there to bundle it with their existing hardware. Server Embedded probably lacks support for mobile users though, and is probably also to expensive. But what keeps MS from releasing a mobile edition?


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Actually - I think that vPro isn't a hard requirement for XenClient or CVP but something that will allow deeper management and security options  for the post 1.0 releases (so is strongly recommended by the vendors).


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Are you kidding me? T1 client hypervisor has the potential of killing Microsoft. Microsoft under Ballmer has not responded in meaningful way to any emerging technology/threat, they are reactive to everything that happens around them. The only thing that keeps their market cap so high is those corporate PCs running Slowdows. Enter T1 hypervisor that can play music, control DVD burning and do everything else with hardware that the OS does now and all of a sudden the desktop management reality changes. Microsoft will not have a T1 hypervisor because there is NO WAY they can do it right and own that market (that will go to Vmware) so by introducing their own T1 would just validate the market need. They will do what they do best: stall the market by influencing OEMs so they can pull one more Windows refresh cycle.


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Insightful comments.  I agree that MS will do everything to protect their control over the desktop, however they may not have much of a choice but to offer some form of client hypervisor, especially if they want to support server-based and client-based virtualization in a seamless way.  I doubt MS bought Sentillion for their vThere product as we have almost never run into vThere anywhere, even at our healthcare customers.


At MokaFive we purposely architected our system to be independent of the VMM layer and to work well in a Type 2 as well as a Type 1 world.  We saw that the VMM layer was increasingly becoming commoditized and so we focused on the management aspect.  Today we ship with a Type 2 solution that is robust and enterprise-ready.  We are experimenting with Type 1 solutions but as of today Type 1 technology is nowhere close to something that we would want to support in a real deployment.  Maybe in 2010 the technology will start to get there, but it is still quite new and has a lot of dependencies on hardware manufacturers and device drivers.  The HCL for the early client hypervisors will be very, very short and that's why the dependency on Intel's vPro and hardware refresh - Intel is supplying the drivers.  We have plans to officially support a Type 1 solution once the technology matures a bit more and we feel it is something we can support.  But I wouldn't expect major deployments in 2010 or even 2011.


Going forward, I think there will be a place for both Type 1 (e.g. corporate-owned machine) and Type 2 (e.g. individual's machine or BYOPC), and any management solution worth its salt will need to be able to manage both types of clients.  The distinction between the two is also fuzzy because you can do hardware passthrough on Type 2, and with more functionality and management being built in the Type 1 base it is beginning to look like a full-fledged OS.  VMware's CVP is a Type 2 architecture with a Linux host OS and VMware Player on top.  


If Microsoft is smart they will do a client hypervisor so they can control that layer too.  They definitely have the technology, resources, and clout to do it.  They also have all the device drivers, which has been an Achilles heel of client hypervisors thus far.


John Whaley


MokaFive CTO


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Needless to say, at Virtual Computer, we are a bit more bullish on the maturity of type 1 client hypervisors and the new use cases and management wins they provide. There is a lot to discuss here, but for what I expect will be the first of several comments to this post, I am going to start with hardware compatibility.


Hardware compatibility is certainly one of the bigger challenges with client hypervisors, but is actually not as hard as people perceive it to be.  The focus on vPro is really a bit of a red herring.  It really comes down to whether a PC has Intel VT-x or VT-d (or AMD-V as the case may be).  If a vendor is doing things like pass-through graphics, it is easier and more secure to do this with VT-d.  Since VT-d is generally bundled with vPro, that is where the association generally come from.  Done “right,” as we think we have, all you need is VT-x, which has been on chips for several years, is generally necessary for Type-2 anyways, and doesn’t tie a Type-1 hypervisor rollout to a hardware refresh.  I do all of my product demos on a Dell D630 that is several years old and does not have vPro/VT-d.  I use it because it is a familiar “workhorse” platform for many organizations we talk to.


When it comes to drivers, it’s certainly not trivial, but it’s not splitting the atom either.  If you take USB, which we pipe through to Windows, out of the equation, there really aren’t that many drivers to worry about to cover the “big 3” corporate PC vendors and many others as well.  On graphics, we have had Intel drivers since day one, Nvidia since last summer, and have ATI support close in our sights.  On wireless, we have Intel, Broadcom (and Dell’s OEM version thereof), and Atheros covered.  And the list goes on…  In any given driver category, there are really only two or three that matter, most of which have existing Linux drivers available that can be leveraged in a Xen-based client hypervisor architecture.


Quite honestly, the biggest challenge with respect to hardware compatibility is the “last mile” of smaller details.  For example, different platforms communicate ACPI events around things like laptop lid closure, etc. in different ways.  Slightly annoying and inconvenient for software vendors like us?  Yes.  Rocket science to deal with?  No.  We analyze how events are handled on a particular PC, make some basic changes if we need to, and move on.  Our biggest challenge as a small company is getting our hands on a wide enough breadth of platforms to analyze the differences.  Fortunately, there are a number of forward thinking PC OEMs out there who proactively ship us gear to test.  Dell in particular has been outstanding in this area, and in fact my D630 demo system actually has a “Property of Dell” sticker on it.  


That’s it for now.  I am going to resist the urge to take the bait on the “limited traction” and “lack of mature management” barbs, though I reserve the right to change my mind later.  :)


Doug Lane


Virtual Computer, Inc.


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Great comments folks


@kimmo MS wil argue that Type of choice MED-V. Shoot them please.


@Dann it's the mobile use case where the gap is and where MS will bully OEMs until they are ready. Monopoly.


@Mr.Incredible. I agree not a hard requirement, but that's that Intel is pushing with Citrix and VMWare. Nothing wrong with Atom.....


@System.fracture. I doubt VMWare is going to win the DT, but I think they can force the MS hand since they have the will and Citrix does not.


@John, good to see you racing towards to mgmt, You guys get it, and moving towards Type 1 as a bridge from your current Type 2 solution is smart. I wish you well


@Doug. It comes back down to OEM's shipping. You guys plus Device VM are interesting together. As for mgmt, if your mgmt irrespective of opinion on maturity could also be used for central hosted desktops, it has more value. They fact that you guys and the other client vendors (rightly so at your size) focus only on one use case means >complexity in organizations who have to server multiple use cases.


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We know the DeviceVM folks well and have a lot of respect for them.  As a small company, they have done an amazing job of getting traction with the OEMs and actually bringing stuff to market through that path.


We certainly spend a fair bit of time engaging with the OEMs ourselves, and these efforts are really starting to bear fruit.  However, in my view the best route to getting traction with the OEMs is to go out and engage with enterprises and let the OEMs hear from their customers that client-side virtualization matters and is a major buying criteria.


Isn’t this kind of how it unfolded on the server virtualization side?  It wasn’t like VMware built their server virtualization product and said, “let’s wait for the server manufacturers and Microsoft to bless this and give us a path to market.”  Never would have happened.  They went after it with a good product, made themselves relevant in the enterprise, and now when you do go an order a server they are a line item option.  You won't find anyone further from VMware fanboy than me, but I respect that, and we intend to do exactly the same thing on the client.


I agree that eventually client hypervisors will ship from the factory on the PC, but I don’t agree that it isn’t a real market delivering real value to enterprise customers until that happens.


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I'm gonna sit back and eat some popcorn.  This is going to get good :D


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I take Doug’s point on engineering in hardware compatibility for some specific machines but for mainstream deployment I think it will require a hardware replacement cycle before client hypervisors become common. Here is my thinking:


Organizations will want support from their hardware vendors for machines running client hypervisors. That is doable for new machines but it is not in vendors’ interests to test and certify the back catalog so that customers can avoid buying a new machine (ignoring any driver issues).


Even if all existing machines were magically supported people would still be unlikely to roll out client hypervisors. Once machines are out in the field and working then it would be a huge operation to re-engineer the platform and then bring all those machines back through IT. Major changes like this are far easier to do during migrations and refreshes.


Hence, much as we might want client hypervisors on every machine right now (given all the other technology was in place) it is not going to happen – hardware vendors won’t support it and organizations would not roll it out.


Martin Ingram (AppSense)


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@Doug, I agree early adopters will help drive the OEMs, but it's even early for them. I actually think if the Dell's and HP's of the world were smart they would introduce certain support model quickly. Why? Because it gives Apple a kick in the balls and labels them as an old technology that offers no flexibility. I also think Apple should push this forward, why? Because Type 2 running on OSX means crap running on OSX that I am sure generates support calls for Apple that they would rather not. Kind of like the iphone thinking of no background apps. They could simply allow only MAC hardware to run Type 1 for ESX by virtue of their license and they would be golden.


That said, I still don't see this being relevant for most people due to integrated mgmt, hardware refreshes until 2011-2012 at best. Good to see people attacking the mgmt problem in the startup world, but so far nothing from the major vendors. Even when they do, idiot IT staff will take timet o adopt and every single person will feel the need to the same POC at every firm when they could talk to their friends and move F forward quickly.  So slow slow slow will be this train, thanks to MS blocking, OEMs being slow, customer IT folks being dumb in their own eval process. I really hope I am wrong and this happens much sooner, just to stick it to MS and force them to do something useful, not this MDOP & Systems Center crap.


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@Martin


So organizations will wait to capture the benefits of client virtualization until the hardware vendors have announced full and unequivocal support for hypervisors the same way it all unfolded with server virtualization?  Oh wait, that’s not how it unfolded with server virtualization, is it?


VMware, XenSource/Citrix, Virtual Iron, etc. were all out there being adopted by some very large organizations for years before any official support came from the server OEMs.  The business benefits and ROI were simply too great to wait for.  The vendors just engaged directly with customers (and the OEMs’ own field sales teams!), OEM sales team were empowered to win deals / stand behind the solutions it took to win them, and enterprises pressed forward.  Eventually, standard offerings and support policies caught up, but only after server virtualization was a proven winner with major accounts.


We’ve seen this movie before.  Time to film the sequel.


That said, I don’t take the time, cost, and effort of reimaging PCs outside of a refresh lightly.  I do think that a significant number of customers will move conservatively over the course of a refresh cycle, and at Virtual Computer we have certainly done our business planning assuming that pace.  However, it’s worth noting that a lot of what has made PC reimaging painful and time consuming in the past can actually be avoided with client-side virtualization.  Beyond the fundamentals of no longer needing to worry about drivers in a master image, greater application deployment flexibility, etc., there are a myriad of mature technologies for things like P2V conversion and profile migration (which I suspect you probably know 100 times more about than me…) that can accelerate enterprise adoption ahead of the hardware refresh cycle.


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@Doug, It's important to keep in mind that Client hypervisors are also limited in what they can do. Multi monitor support for some is a good example. More importantly the value you guys are touting is with respect to reducing managements costs of distributed computing. That means you are in DIRECT competition with the MDOP team, Systems Center strategy and others. Not that I laud your efforts to do that because I do see value. However none of the value of centralization can be managed with your stack and that's where I see a gap for folks like me who want to do both.


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@appdetective


The market factors, barriers, and likely-to-be-missed opportunities you describe are all very real, but that’s why god invented startups.  Someone has to stir the drink and just go for it in order for anything to happen.  And if startups didn't succeed versus larger, more established rivals at least part of the time, people would stop funding them.


I have seen enough positive reaction from customers and OEMs to feel pretty good about 2010 from my seat.  Time will tell I suppose.  Either way, our foot isn’t coming off the gas pedal and we have plenty of VC dollars in the tank (note to self: send X-mas card to Citrix…), so we’ll see how it all shakes out next year.


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@Doug


I'm grateful for startups, and certainly admire the balls they have to disrupt, so go for it and good luck. We need all of the startups to keep innovating otherwise MS will control the world with ZERO innovation.  


It's good to be able to have the debate at brianmadden.com so many more of us can educate each other on what's possible. Certainly grateful to Brian and Gabe for letting me post this blog.


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@appdetective


Fully agree that we don’t succeed until we have a Windows experience on the PC that requires no functionality or performance sacrifices for the end-user.  I don’t claim we are fully there, but we are closer than you think.  If we take your multi-monitor example, we have had mirroring for quite a while, and the latest code we are running internally (Q1 availability) has fully virtualized graphics with multi-monitor/extended desktop, all controlled right from within Windows without the need for a GPU-specific driver.


There may always be differences, but there will also be user experience attributes that are better on a client hypervisor.  As one example, I can run Windows 7 and Windows XP side-by-side on NxTop Engine, and if I close the lid, the VMs and the hypervisor suspend in a few seconds.  If I open the lid, the hypervisor and both VMs resume in a few seconds.  If I was playing a video when it suspended, the video picks up right where it left off.  I would contend that this is better than a native Windows experience, and we were doing this demo live at VMworld in August using our then-current NxTop 1.2 software.  (Very gratifying to hear VMware talk at the same show about how CVP would be able to run two VMs at once….someday.)


I also don’t agree that we are necessarily competing with System Center / MDOP.  There’s tons of stuff System Center does that we don’t.  There’s a ton of stuff NxTop Center can do that System Center can’t.  Put them together, and it’s like peanut butter and chocolate. NxTop Center runs exclusively on Server 2008, uses Hyper-V exclusively to create VMs and run them for administrative/patching purposes (even though we use Xen on the client side), and every single function in NxTop Center is API addressable in addition to being accessible through our UI.  We haven't completed the integration yet, but pretty easy stuff compared to what we are working on now.


I know you are going to hate this, since you obviously don’t like System Center, but in theory the combination of System Center and NxTop Center could actually give you a single pane of glass for native/non-virtualized desktops, VDI (assuming RDS matures), and NxTop client hypervisor based PCs (along with all the stuff it does on the server side).  Is VMware View going support VDI, offline virtual desktops, AND native PC patching any time soon?


If eventually, Microsoft adds a type-1 hypervisor and fills the System Center gaps we cover, so be it.  We’ll be on to the next thing.  Citrix has made a pretty good living at this in the Terminal Services arena.


I am so not getting any work done for the rest of the week, am I?


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@Doug,


I think you'll find the Systems Center guys want to rule the world and the $$$ will come in from locking people into their entire suite. Yep you are right, I don't like systems's center, it's complex, too big and not flexible, and I can build or buy better component functionality. I hate the fact MS charges me for a OS and mgmt tools. It's a joke, and I don't want to lock into MS OS and tools. It's bad price leverage for me, hence I will NOT buy Systems Center, unless it's so massively compelling, which it is not. Therefore I see very little hope that MS will want another player in the Desktop Management space. Their have a very simplistic view of the world. Buy M-DOPE smoke it, virtualize with shitty App-V, lock into that under some BS pretense that TCO will be lower and then they hope to sell you Systems Center. You guys 100% F up that gravy train for them. They will hate you, trust me. I know from a MS customers angle what these aholes are like, and what they say about Type 1 when I ask the. Type 1 is a threat to them and they will stale it until they control it. Sure folks like you will disrupt and if you get traction someone will buy you. It's why I guess Citrix is an investor in you. They are smart about the Desktop and know what you could become. However so could Moka 5 and they have an awesome management layer that's addresses many of the needs for real world use. Let the battle begin......


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@appdetective


While it wouldn’t shock me if someone from MSFT trying to sell you something said something disparaging about Type-1, I don’t know that this stuff is even enough on the radar screen at the mother ship at this point to evoke hatred.  We can get to hundreds of millions in revenue before it makes sense for someone in Redmond to stop thinking about eating VMware lunch on server virtualization or driving Windows 7 upgrades for more than 5 minutes.  How long did they let VMware run for before they jumped in on server virtualization in a meaningful way?


Now imagine a company trying to do something very similar on desktops, but instead of thumbing their nose at MSFT, they embraced MSFT at every turn, including:


- Giving people a reason to upgrade from Server 2003 to Server 2008.


- Evangelizing/demonstrating Hyper-V with extreme loyalty, even when we are at VMworld or marching into accounts where VMware is entrenched.


- Driving Software Assurance purchases by creating new multi-OS use cases.


- Laying out an integration vision for System Center; not trying to replace it or talk anyone out of buying it.


What’s the urgency for them to jump in or try to squash us? Yeah, maybe someone decides to use us for Windows 7 / XP app compatibility instead of MED-V.  Who cares?  As long as we are doing all of the above, helping people get to Windows 7, and being any level of an annoyance to VMware on the desktop front, what’s to hate?


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@appdetective, I would not be so excited about startups. I have worked for two before. At a startup the VC's *** slap everyone and ride them till they're dead. No one has any real power except the VC's. Virtual Computer is an early stage startup - no one knows if they will pull it through '10.


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An advisor of ours pointed me to this very interesting thread. We certainly appreciate all the mentions with regard to DeviceVM.


It's clear from the discussions that proliferation of client hypervisors on non-Windows (the de facto case for Type 1) requires a solution to the issue of broad platform support.


Broad platform support has been an interesting by-product of our business of adding an instant-on Internet appliance function to as many PCs as we can. We work with OEMs directly; each PC that we pre-bundle with requires a Linux stack that has fully functional WiFi, LAN, SATA, graphics, audio in/out, webcam, USB peripherals, touchpad (sometimes with gestures), 3G, etc. We end up partnering with the various hardware device vendors to jointly ensure the Linux driver can work properly in time for the OEM's time-to-market.


There's a ways to go though. Native graphics drivers in Linux which would be important for client virtualization aren't always achievable due to time-to-market. Touchpad operation on par with Windows still needs driver improvements from device vendors. Many drivers don't move at the pace of kernel.org releases. Nonetheless, we'll end this year with tens of millions of PCs shipping with our instant-on stack (mostly consumer PCs). Hopefully next year we'll have that number alone for commercial PCs. Many of these will ship with an update agent built-in.


Which might make an interesting conversation with client hypervisor partners who're looking to get ahead of the enterprises' hardware refresh cycle and tap into a bigger HCL. (We don't have a hypervisor offering and intend to leave that to you experts.)


Phil / DeviceVM


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@Phillip. I really like the concept of instant on appliances because one can run them on any type of hardware, which is not the case for Type 1, and a key reason I still like Type 2. However I agree with you that Linux support needs to be improved. If VMWare or Citrix build a better Linux client and that becomes part of your instant on appliance then that is cool. I would love to offer my users a feature rich Linux ICA client that can connect to my hosted virtual desktop securely and then offer those same users things like Skype, a personal browser to surf as much porn as they like in private. This would be a good service for me to offer them. The challenge however is still the quality of the Linux client. This is a much better solution than Wyse who are all about hardware lock in. Keep getting your stuff out there, as critical mass is going to force the big boys to listen. I would just love to see MS forced into offering a much better WinFLP for WIndows 7, which you could also offer and would solve the feature rich Linux client issue. Good luck in 2010.


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The bottom line for me was finding a way to protect myself from users, viruses, spyware, and the windows death march to slowdom.  I tried switching users to Linux but it is still too hard for the average users.  I eyed perpetual live cds.  How could a user screw that up?  I looked at RingCube but I didn't like being tied to windows.  I decided to user Virtual Computers Nxtop.  The timing was perfect.  I was at the point where my newest laptop was at least 3 years old. The servers are older than that.  So I purchased laptops that were compatible with NxTop.  I'm bringing them online at about 2 per month plus a desktop here and there.


NxTop has saved me time pretty much out of the box.  One of my users got the Anti-virus 2009 virus a week after getting the NxTop.  I told her to restart the computer and the virus was gone.  Today I pushed out updated programs (anti-virus, backup program and windows update).  I did it all from the central management.  Updated 1 machine and pushed it out to everyone.


So, Type 1 or Type 2, I don't care.  NxTop's features and capabilities are good enough right now.  If they get better in the future because OEM Type 1 hypervisors, great.   Supporting 50 windows users with a single IT guy has become easier.  Bring on more users.....  Well maybe not.


Oh, and I definitely don't care what Microsoft does or doesn't like.  They lost me with Vista.


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AppDetective was right!  


Microsoft does hate Client Hypervisors....  check out them bashing them here and explaining why they have no benefit!


technet.microsoft.com/.../ff678588.aspx


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