Ulteo is now offering what Microsoft and Citrix will not: a server based computing solution for the Linux desktop and Linux applications.
The company, which late last year launched the first OpenOffice open source desktop online, has announced the availability of the Open Virtual Desktop (OVD), which is essentially the server installable and free version of its online desktop.
Unlike Microsoft's and Citrix's respective terminal service solutions, Ulteo's Open Virtual Desktop serves up the Linux desktop to any web browser including Firefox and Internet Explorer. The company plans to serve up Windows applications in early 2009, making it, its CEO says, an ideal solution for companies with mixed Linux and Windows workloads.
"In essence, we have just released a Microsoft Terminal Server (MTS) solution for Linux. MTS is the foundation on which any traditional Server Based Computing solution like Citrix is based. So neither Microsoft nor Citrix has a solution like us for Linux. And by the end of Q1 2009 we are going to offer the mix of Linux and windows applications, or each separately, which is going to be a very appealing proposition that again these guys are not addressing the way we do," wrote Thierry Koehrlen, CEO an vice president of product development.
Ulteo was founded by Gael Duval, also founder of MandrakeSoft and its popular Linux desktop.
By definition, OVD requires no client software installation. The Open Virtual Desktop provides an administration console, which can be linked with an Active Directory or a LDAP user directory, and uses CIFS fileservers such as Windows or Samba to allow users to access their docs from applications running on the Virtual Desktop layer.
Ulteo offers a free community edition and a commercial edition for enterprise use with various levels of professional support.
Ulteo plans to offer a full Virtual Desktop Infrastructure solution sometime next year, but sees cash on the table for traditional desktop delivery models right now. "Our VDI solution, the new paradigm, will come out mid next year because the whole current offering is rather immature .... but the traditional Citrix business is very mature and there is a big need and actual demand right now."
Ulteo's online open source desktop offering has been available for one year and the company claims to have delivered 140,000 user sessions to date.