It's interesting. As I've engaged the industry in our research in the past couple of months, I hear two topics coming up a lot: (1) corporate infrastructure refreshes due to the economic recovery and (2) media tablets like Apple's iPad, as well as of course the iPhone and other competing products. For the former, we're already seeing some signs of business not only replacing aging fleets of PCs, but also some of them in an expansion mode and buying PCs for new hires. For the latter, it's clearly a consumer-focused market, but as we all know, consumers will oftentimes bring these devices to their IT departments in the hopes of being connected to the corporate network.
As we take a step back and look at the big picture, client virtualization enters the picture as a way that these might come together. Businesses will of course still proceed with their traditional PC-based infrastructures as the economy improves, but they also need to account for other ways for employees to access their data on a wide range of devices (including their personally-owned computers at home), and a virtualized client could be one way to address that....in theory, at least.
I say that it's in theory because some of the recent demos that I've seen out here in Asia have failed, citing problems like "unavailable connections," which only reinforced my initial hypothesis that while client virtualization is great in theory, some implementations depend critically on a network connection, which may not always be there. Don't get me wrong - client virtualization has huge benefits and I truly believe that it can be the way of the future, especially with so many consumer devices being brought to the workplace. Technology will improve (and infrastructures will get further built out), so I'm sure that usability will improve significantly in the long run, especially with many organizations in the US already adopting such technology today. In the meantime, I'd be curious to hear if you have any success stories to share - and perhaps more importantly, any best practices or policies that you've used to ensure a good experience for the user and/or IT department.