"We're expecting consumer and commercial PC buyers alike to be more experimental with new types of PCs," lead analyst Bob O'Donnell said in the report. But anything that squeezes more productivity out of existing hardware will find an audience waiting for it, Bowker says.
Desktop virtualisation battle heats up
Among the rush of new products trying to take advantage of that are Microsoft and Citrix, which enhanced Citrix' graphics-enabling HDX technology for remote session computing and the addition of virtual-PC-friendly touches like licences that explicitly allow customers to use licences for apps running on virtual hardware, adding dynamic memory management to Windows Server 2008, and incorporating Microsoft's RemoteFX new-generation terminal-services protocol in both Citrix products and Windows 7.
Thin-client competitors Pano Logic and NComputing are also waving the flag. Ncomputing released barebones versions of its thin client unit that cost between $70 and $150. Pano Logic announced a deal under which Fujitsu would ship flat panel monitors equipped with Pano Logic clients to make the monitor itself the computer.
Citrix and VMware both promise bare metal versions of their client hypervisors that could improve performance of virtual clients and potentially make non-standard devices such as the iPad into VDI clients.
More interesting is that entire classes of vendors like AppSense, LiquidWare, RingCube, Unideks, Infinity and others are springing up to add personalisation and greater capabilities to thin clients by containerising the drivers, profiles, DLLs and other data to improve both the user experience and effectiveness of the virtual client, Bowker says.