If you had any doubt that the arc of desktop virtualization will follow in the footprints of its older sibling, server virtualization, consider this: Dell has introduced its first thin client hardware, the OptiPlex FX160.
Gartner predicts that deployments of virtualized PCs will grow from less than 5 million in 2007 to 660 million by 2011. There are a whole bunch of reasons why adoption is on the climb, from interest in mobility and telecommuting to the desire for better client manageability.
The promise of thin clients when it comes to reducing power is not to be underestimated, as well. As I've summarized in past blogs, thin clients use anywhere from 5 watts to 60 watts of electricity, compared with at least double that on the desktop. They've also got a longer potential lifecycle, which reduces the potential for e-waste. Forrester has a great report out that ties thin clients and desktop virtualization to the green tech movement.
Dell's new hardware, which will support embedded or streaming operating systems for virtual desktop deployments, starts at $399. It shouldn't come as a surprise that Dell also is expanding its Flexible Computing Solutions to include the global availability of On-Demand Desktop Streaming and Virtual Remote Desktop in the United States.