In a sense, Microsoft has caused an own-goal here. News that it intends ending Windows XP support has caused many firms to look at their options. Do they need Windows, do they trust Microsoft, is Apple a viable alternative? What of mobile devices? The iPad? Can smartphones do the job?
Questions like that, and the increasing popularity of Apple's platforms, have led to a seismic shift in tech purchasing. Gartner this week confirmed PC shipments are down 5.9% in Q4 2011 in comparison to the previous year, while Apple shipped 20.7% more Macs. Apple now has 11.6% market share (Gartner), or 10.92% (IDC). This reflects the way CFOs are asking themselves questions about platform commitments.
Why? In a research report released last year, Dimension Data said: "Organizations must first understand their business drivers, workforce demands, and the state of their application ecosystem before they define their next generation desktop roadmap."
That next-gen desktop roadmap has left the desktop. CFOs and CIOs will be looking at that option, too. BYOD is the first wave of a larger tide against any form of future desktop hegemony. But, as I mentioned in a previous post, the right answers will depend on which offering might be the most secure.
With security likely to see severe testing this year, technology purchasers will be likely to experiment with numerous options before opting for one, if only to ensure their chosen approach can be a good virtualization client while also being highly secure.