"They need to understand what direction the market is going in for desktops," said John Spooner, an analyst with Technology Business Research. "The whole market has been shifting to notebooks and Intel wants to find ways to continue to grow its desktop business." While Intel has an interest in keeping the corporate desktop market going, it also has to look at the future and decide if it needs to develop low-cost, low-power platforms for thin-client PCs as well, Spooner said.During their tests, Intel researchers also found that the VDI model -- where the processing power, OS and applications are centrally stored and the standard PC is replaced by a thin client -- placed a substantial load on a server and created a 45 percent utilization rate when the hardware supported 20 clients. With more than 20 clients, the researchers "would expect to run out of server processor resources before we flooded our network capacity." Through its laboratory tests, Intel found that the streaming model had much lower processor and server disk utilization. Of the more than 700 companies Intel surveyed, Ferron-Jones said that nearly all were familiar with the new models emerging, but few expected to deploy one of these new models in the next two years. Of those IT managers in the study, about 64 percent said they have deployed some sort of terminal services now, while 39 percent were deploying desktop virtualization, 30 percent application streaming, 15 percent OS streaming and 26 percent PC blades. Except for terminal services computing, which is considered a mature model, the other four are expected to grow about 20 percent more in the next two years, with OS streaming and PC blades increasing 27 percent in the next 48 months, according to the survey. Of the different enterprises that participated, financial services were the most receptive to these new models, followed by health care.
To help prove its point, Intel conducted several tests at its testing lab.