Congratulations to you, desktop virtualization industry watcher, for making it through was has easily been the most boring year in the past 20 years of desktop virtualization.
Not that this is a bad thing, of course. We’ve had some busy years recently, with VDI technology becoming real and cost effective, VMware entering the RDSH space, companies focusing on getting off Windows XP and onto Windows 7, the cloud becoming real—really all we could do in 2015 was catch our collective breaths and take in all the changes of the past few years.
And catch our breaths we did! I mean the biggest news from Synergy was that XenApp 6.5 EOL has been extended 18 months and they have a VDA for Linux, and the biggest story of VMworld was GRID 2.0 which is pretty much exactly the same thing GRID 1.0 except it holds more users.
So not exactly knock-your-socks-off kind of news.
Heck, even the biggest story of the year (Elliott & Citrix) was nothing more than, “Remember what Citrix was doing 5 years ago? Yeah, they’re going to do more of that."
Of the Dell/EMC thing, which from the desktop virtualization standpoint will change nothing.
I guess we knew 2015 was going to be boring from the get-go. My 2015 preview article from the beginning of the year basically said that all the hard problems in desktop virtualization have been solved and there’s nothing we really want anymore other than Microsoft fixing SPLA and letting hosting providers host Windows desktops in the clouds. (So clearly our disappointment with 2015 was ensured early on.)
If forced to come up with a multi-word description for 2015, I'd go with:
- Citrix finally realized what everyone had been saying for a few years. They lost their CEO, they lost a bunch of great employees, they’ve got activist investor fixing things, and they truly do seem to have the ship pointed in the right direction.
- VMware is continuing their momentum from 2014 and has built a very strong competitor to XenApp & XenDesktop. Their vision is good, execution seems good, and they really do seem focused on the desktop & EUC space.
- Microsoft is still Microsoft, though they’re actually kind of perceived as “cool” again as Windows 10 is great, Office 365 is great, moving enterprise services to Azure is working well, Server 2016 looks great, and even Surface tablets are starting to catch on.
- VMI is a thing we should actually pay attention to.
- “App transformation” (or “App refactoring”) is probably my top answer when asked about what new technology I’m excited about.
Finally, 2015 saw the end of several companies and products in our space, including:
- Moka5 (bankrupt)
- Immidio (acquired by VMware)
- Sanbolic (acquired by Citrix)
- Remotium (acquired by Avast)
- Good (acquired by BlackBerry)
- Globo (financial scandal)
- Windows RT
- 2X (acquired by Parallels)
What was your biggest victory of 2015? Mine personally was getting BriForum west of the Mississippi. (A short-lived victory, of course.)
Oh, also I had my 20 year anniversary in IT this year. I officially started in June 1995. Kind of cool.