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April 2013, Volume 2, Number 4

Battle over the future of desktops raging in the data center

Until recently, IT pros responsible for servers, network components, storage infrastructure and applications could be forgiven for not thinking much about the future of desktops that run Windows. What happened on the desktop stayed on the desktop. But like a distant war that is suddenly being fought on native soil, Microsoft's struggles to revitalize and preserve its venerable desktop business are having an impact in the data center. The assault on the Windows desktop is intense. Microsoft's OS business is under fire from Apple and consumer devices. The profitable Office productivity applications are under attack by countless new Software as a Service (SaaS), mobile and Web apps. Even back-end services such as Exchange, SharePoint and Active Directory are no longer safe from incursions by cloud-based products. The most visible symbol of the turmoil is the client, which is no longer synonymous with a Windows PC. These days, end users' tablets and smartphones are decimating the comfortable position that Windows PCs have maintained...

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