I’ve always been a big proponent of virtualization for many reasons, one of the most powerful of which is that it is making the underlying platform less and less important. For years, there has been the struggle for the “desktop” by Windows and X, where X has been OS/2, Apple, or Linux. (Yes, I said OS/2. Yes, that was before the invention of the wheel.)
Anyway, I think it’s important to keep in mind that the underlying platform that runs the box in front of you will become less important from a technical standpoint.
For Linux, this is a good thing.
Obviously, Linux wins on the upfront licensing end of things. Windows has some clout in the enterprise desktop market of course because of its huge third-party market, manageability in terms of policies and AD, and… well, because everybody knows it. Linux of course can be just as easily managed, but it’s just not as big a dot on the radar as Windows.
One reason for that is the fact that Linux takes a different skill set that Windows. And the supply of that skill set is much smaller than what is available for Windows.
But as virtualization continues to centralize application management and deployment (think Altiris for Windows and Linux), and as we move more toward the seamless windows in servers offering Windows-based applications, there is less reason to run Windows for management reasons and more reason to focus strictly on upfront costs.
I’m curious about Microsoft’s plans to face this threat to its desktop domination? Or is this in fact part of its plan? Where are things headed really?