entrustIT release new connection service for Virtual Desktops

entrustIT have released a new portal for connection to their Hosted Desktop services, aggregating a number of services for entrust, extrasys and onlinedesktop customers in one place for the first time.

Co-ordinated with the release of version 3.1 of the Virtual Desktop service, the new portal boasts a number of usability improvements and will streamline the process of connecting to the many entrust cloud services.

The portal will also be available to iPad users after installation of the Citrix Receiver application in the iTunes App Store.

The portal can be accessed via the app or directly on the entrustIT corporate website.

Tablets gain with Virtual Desktop v3.1 & Citrix Mobility Pack

Citrix have released a mobility pack for their partners which transforms the virtual desktop experience on Android & iOS devices to make it more “touch-friendly”, with larger icons, iOS and Android-native menus and options, and an auto pop-up keyboard for text entry.

The latest enhancements in the Mobility Pack include a complete SDK for customising specific apps for mobility, and these customisations can even allow hosted apps to interact seamlessly with GPS, camera, or SMS.

The benefits of the new pack will be introduced into the entrust Virtual Desktop product set, starting with version 3.1 of our Virtual Desktop – due in May 2012.

Licensing Office on an iPad or Android Tablet

There’s been some speculation recently about whether it’s possible to deliver a Windows/Office experience on tablets and still remain properly licensed. The main reason for the speculation has been the launch of the Onlive Desktop (note the spelling!) which seemed to provide exactly that, at no cost.

Microsoft have been strangely quiet on the subject until recently when in a blog post yesterday Joe Matz (VP of Worldwide Licensing) expressed openly what we had suspected for several months :

We are actively engaged with OnLive with the hope of bringing them into a properly licensed scenario, and we are committed to seeing this issue is resolved.

The same blogpost made it clear that there is only one way to deliver Office on mobile devices that are running an underlying OS other than Windows :

Office may only be provided as a service if it is hosted on Windows Server and Remote Desktop Services

So that’s it. Virtual Desktop providers can provide you with access to Windows & Office on your mobile device but we all use the legal licensing model that MS describe above. Hosted Desktop providers (like us) declare your license use monthly to MS and pay them a fee which is why commercial hosted desktop systems are not free. 

So, if you want commercially delivered, properly licensed, Microsoft Windows and Office on your tablet (of any type) then you need http://www.onlinedesktop.com not www.onlive.com.

 ‘Nuff said.

Well Onlive raised the profile, but not … well

A couple of weeks ago the New York times posted an article praising the arrival of the Onlive Desktop on iPad; the gist of the article was that for the first time, a full Windows7 desktop was available on an Apple device and that the Onlive solution was quote “seamless and fairly amazing”.

This was news to us because we’ve been using Windows on an iPad since .. well .. the iPad1 was launched in 2010. In fact, even before that we had Windows on iPhones via our virtual desktop service and a clever piece of client software called the Citrix Receiver. So, all in all, the claim to uniqueness was a fairly bold one.

Not only that, but the Onlive experience isn’t that great; with only limited integration between the device and the desktop – in fact you can read what a more cautious Computerworld reviewer said about it here.

Our message to iPad (or Android) business users would be, Onlive is not the best or the only experience available for you. The truth is, you get what you pay for and their desktop is … free. If you’d like to try out a commercial alternative then get in touch.