Tuesday, October 14, 2008

App-Virt is the OS/2 of today

I just realized what all the frustration that I've had about the state of application virtualization reminds me of: IBM's OS/2.

I was one of the OS/2 fans, when the only GUI alternatives were Windows 3.11 and Mac OS. In other words: crap. OS/2 "Warp" (3.x) for all intents should have grabbed the PC market. It was solid. It was truly multi-tasking and object oriented from top to bottom. The UI could have have stood some improvements, but it was out the door before Windows 95.

But IBM did their usual SNAFU brainfart and didn't market it right nor did they court partners, like Microsoft did leading up to the release of Win95. That was the frustrating part. No drivers. No decent third-party apps. A horrible system for patching. And an archaic method for defragmenting the disks. Like a first-round draft pick that gets both legs broken at the start of the playoffs.

App-Virt vendors are doing something similar. Keeping the entry point higher than the means for SMB customers. It seems to be restricting it to only the largest of customers. Regardless of the marketing hype, the entry-point costs are still exorbitant. Whether by forcing you to buys a subscription on other products first, or by forcing a minimum bundle cost up front, it's not practical for a shop of less than 100 desktops. Definitely out of the realm of reality for those under 50 clients.

Its frustrating and I really wish they would open it up for easier access to all markets. But I'm afraid that like OS/2, the vendors will keep it handicapped until it becomes a sideshow or out of date. Who knows. Maybe it will all be gobbled up into bigger products.
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