Microsoft has had a change of heart over virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), and is making an aggressive push into the market with new promotions and Windows licensing changes designed to cut costs for organisations considering a move to virtual desktops.
From today, Microsoft and its virtualisation partner Citrix are offering a VDI Kick Start promotion said to deliver a 50 per cent saving on implementing VDI using technology from the two companies, plus a trade-in scheme designed to let VMware View customers switch at no additional cost.
Licensing changes coming into effect from July also mean that Software Assurance customers will no longer have to buy a separate licence to access Windows clients via VDI, and will explicitly allow "roaming rights" access from secondary devices such as home PCs outside the corporate network.
"Customers said VDI licences are confusing, so we've simplified these for Software Assurance customers," said Gavriella Schuster, senior director of Microsoft's Windows Product Marketing group.
She added that giving customers the right to choose VDI centralisation at the same cost as standard desktop deployment gives them the flexibility to transition between the two as required.
Previously, Microsoft had a somewhat lukewarm attitude to VDI, with the firm's UK virtualisation head Neil Sanderson telling V3.co.uk as recently as February that "VDI is not the answer to reducing the cost of operating the desktop".
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