MVP Summit 2011 – What’s next after Microsoft Released SP1 and RemoteFX?

Wow, the year started really busy. I didn’t even have time to write new blog articles until today. After joining AppSense and going through induction and some public interviews, I started visiting key customers. This gave me valuable insights into what’s going on in the field. Even though I had only relatively short time to analyze typical customer requirements, the first results speak a clear language: user virtualization is the future. Abstracting user profile information, personal setting policies, user-specific application sets and user data from the underlying operating system is a key factor for successfully introducing desktop and application virtualization solutions. We have already gone quite some way to provide powerful solutions, but there is still a lot of work ahead of industry experts and product vendors to completely fulfill these requirements. That’s good news for me – more exciting work ahead. It’s even better news that I’m working for the clear market leader in user virtualization now.

With all that in my head I came to Redmond for this week’s MVP Summit at the Microsoft campus. I’m really looking forward to meet with the RDS product team memebers and with my fellow MVPs again. Earlier this month Microsoft finally shipped Windows 7 / Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 including RemoteFX. The RDS community has desperately been waiting for this release which may give desktop remoting a new boost. But now the question is: What’s next when looking at desktop and application remoting? Microsoft doesn’t talk too much about Windows 8 yet. But there are other pending things, like how do they want to improve user state and profile management. Roaming user profiles, folder redirection and offline folders are just not enough if you want to support environments with several Windows versions and multiple endpoint devices used simultaneously. What about the integration into mobile devices, such as Windows Phone 7, Android or iPhone (ugh, I said the Apple word)? Is there a real cloud strategy combining the power of RDS/RemoteFX, Azure and Live Mesh 2011? Is there a consumer strategy including home servers with sophisticated remoting technologies allowing you to manage and distribute applications and rich media from a single point in your home? And how will System Center and Office 365 fit into this picture? I hope to find some answers to these questions while I’m here in Redmond.

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