Friday Notebook, March 29: Cloud gaming streaming vendors are learning old VDI lessons

Also: Workspace ONE updates; Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops updates; Jamf Connect; FSLogix; Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus; Windows Virtual Desktop; and UEM for UEM.

This is our weekly log of desktop virtualization, enterprise mobility, and end user computing news.

Our blog posts

Jack: Microsoft makes FSLogix free to all. What does this mean for the rest of the industry? Functionality that third-party vendors once competed on will be freely available, allowing (or pushing) them to compete elsewhere.

Kyle: A short review of the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus. Smartphones continue to mature, making us wonder whether it’s worth releasing yearly iterations.

Kevin Goodman: What customers need to know about Windows Virtual Desktop. WVD brings distinct advantages to the table, with a few caveats.

Jack: Does unified endpoint management need user environment management? After a few years of saying “no, the other UEM,” worlds could collide!

Industry news

Jamf announced integration between Jamf Connect and Google Cloud Identity. Jamf Connect is a key tool that integrates macOS user accounts with cloud identity providers or Active Directory. It’s available as a freestanding product, if you happen to be using another platform to manage your Macs. I wrote more about Jamf Connect last fall and when they announced Azure AD support.

Microsoft this week announced Azure Stack HCI. This is to run virtualized workloads on premises, rather than running cloud services on premises, but still with lots of connections to various Azure services. We haven’t seen too much buzz about this in the desktop virtualization crowd, but we’ve certainly pinned the news for a closer look.

VMware has plenty of EUC updates:

  • First, here’s what’s new in Horizon Cloud.
  • Next, there’s a new reselling partnership with Sprint. This includes AirWatch Express, which is curious, because I thought the AirWatch name had been completely retired, but evidently not for Express.
  • And there’s a new reselling partnership with T-Mobile. (IBM MaaS360 is also a partner option in the T-Mobile offering.)
  • Lastly, VMware published a video overview of what’s new in Workspace ONE 1903. Updates include some new features for AirWatch Express; a new screen to help users through iOS 12.2 MDM enrollment; Workspace ONE Peer Distribution; Linux device management; and Workspace ONE Notebook (for Exchange Notes and Tasks).

Here are the latest features for Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops: HDX now supports Windows Ink in sessions using Microsoft’s APIs; users can copy and paste files in and out of sessions; there’s a technical preview of one-time passwords in Citrix Workspace; you can sign up for the preview of Virtual Apps and Desktop Service based on WVD; and much more.

If you’re a vendor that’s exhibiting at Citrix Synergy, be sure to submit your entries for the Best of Citrix Synergy 2019 Awards. The deadline is April 5, so you have one week. I’ll be there, helping present the awards to the winners—I hope to see you onstage!

More notes and reads

ICT-R: A breakdown of different Citrix VDA versions, including performance tests.

Two articles from Motherboard are on my Friday reading list: The NSO group, the company behind some powerful mobile spyware, is trying to clean up its image, and second, this story about hacked Asus update servers installing malware.

Office 365 and LinkedIn integration, via Microsoft. This actually looks super useful. LinkedIn could become the social identity provider (like people do with Facebook and Google accounts) for the the enterprise.

Microsoft xCloud and Google Stadia start relearning old VDI lessons

Kyle covered the basics of Microsoft xCloud and Google Stadia, two new offerings that will use VDI-like techniques to stream games from the cloud to the masses. As I wrote, there are many VDI lessons that the gaming space will relearn. One lesson, as described by The Verge, is what happens when you try to take an app designed for one form factor and usage style (game consoles) and bring it to something completely different (a mobile device). In the first part of this decade, we wrote dozens of article on this idea—how to transform user interfaces, what happens when you try to squish a UI into a tiny screen, how do you manipulate apps designed for precision peripherals (a game controller) with just your fingers, what mobile device sensors can add to the experience—and on and on. Plus, plenty of vendors worked on this problem: Reddo, Powwow, Star Mobile, HopTo, Citrix (several times over the years), Sapho, RMAD and MADP vendors, and more. For its part, Microsoft is working on this with a Touch Adaptation Kit and new cloud-aware APIs. Anyway, this is going to be fun to watch!

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