Hi, my name is Chandra Shekaran, and I am the general manager for Presentation & Desktop Virtualization at Microsoft. By now, you have probably heard about our Virtualization Deployment Summit today where we made several exciting announcements pertaining to some of our important virtualization strategies (you can find them at Microsoft PressPass). One of the announcements was Microsoft completing the acquisition of Calista Technologies, a leading provider of graphic technologies for the next generation desktop and presentation virtualization solutions. As many of you know, Microsoft has been a leader in the presentation virtualization space for more than 10 years with Windows Terminal Services. With the addition of Calista we will continue to provide the best, broadest and most affordable virtualization technology portfolio for customers and partners. For more read Neal Margulis’ post (Neal is the founder of Calista).
So, what’s so exciting about Calista? Calista’s products dramatically improve the end-user experience of 3D and multimedia delivery for Microsoft multimedia applications, virtualized desktop deployments, and server-hosted virtualized desktops or applications using Windows Terminal Services. Their technologies support all file and streaming media type available, and optimize Microsoft’s widely available Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) to reduce the network bandwidth requirements for remote display of rich media content; thus, remote workers can receive a modern Windows desktop experience without the need for dedicated hardware. As multimedia and 3D graphics are becoming more ubiquitous in business and consumer contexts alike, customers expect the full desktop experience regardless of their desktop deployment choice. With the addition of Calista technologies, Microsoft will enable users to enjoy a rich remote experience for server-hosted, virtualized desktops and applications, thus allowing an organization full flexibility in their choice to deploy centrally managed desktops or a local traditional desktop. In fact, in one of our other announcements today we talked about the concept of Windows Vista optimized desktop solutions; the idea behind it is to enable customers to use several Microsoft technologies, such as the rich user interface of Windows Vista, server based applications like Windows Server 2008 Terminal Services or hosted desktop technology like Windows Vista Enterprise Centralized Desktops, for personal computing scenarios that best meet their unique needs. Calista will be key in helping customers to make the right trade-off decisions among these deployment options, by helping to ensure a consistent, rich end user experience in those scenarios where users transition between a local and a server-hosted desktop.
There are many other product areas at Microsoft where we believe Calista’s technologies will be extremely beneficial in helping Microsoft to create a superior customer experience, and we are just starting to imagine the potential. More importantly though, I am sure you will want to better understand where in Microsoft’s product portfolio virtualization innovations such as Calista’s will start to materialize first, so please stay tuned and come back here to read our blog every once in a while for more details about the latest product plans and accomplishments.