Five Enterprise IT Game-Changers to Watch Closely

By Eric Lundquist  |  Posted 2013-10-24 Print this article Print

Zero-Cost Operating System Upgrades

While I know which operating system revision is running on my desktops and laptops, I don’t keep track of which version is running on my smartphone or tablets. The revisions don’t cost anything and, except for the rare glitch that happens in the background during upgrades, are seamless.

Apple has been lowering the operating system consumer cost curve for awhile (I remember the last one was $19). But now Apple has gone all the way in offering its latest version of OS X (Mavericks) for free.

Depending on how you look at it, Apple is either leading or following Microsoft on this one as the Windows 8.1 upgrades also come at no cost in most cases. CIOs are thoroughly frustrated with the operating system upgrade dance and I’m thinking the days of charging for the OS are coming to a thankful close.

The Next Desktop Virtualization

Virtualization is seen as an antidote for corporate networks that want to allow a wide range of mobile devices but also want to keep a secure space for corporate applications. Virtualization has been around a long time and has never become as widespread as advocates predicted.

The network, input/output and storage requirements combined with the swipe-based smartphone and tablet world have conspired to keep desktop virtualization—which is really a weak term in the laptop, smartphone, tablet world—in the niche category.

I’ve been watching Bromium (which just raised an additional $40 million) and is headed by Xen hypervisor co-creator Simon Crosby. The company’s technology creates micro-VMs, which create an isolated container for each task a user performs.

Malware is confined to the container and disappears when the task is completed rather than having access to the larger system resources. The technology is currently confined to running on Intel CPUs. But the concept is one of the really new approaches to end-point security. I wouldn’t bet against Simon Crosby.

Eric Lundquist is a technology analyst at Ziff Brothers Investments, a private investment firm. Lundquist, who was editor-in-chief at eWEEK (previously PC WEEK) from 1996-2008 authored this article for eWEEK to share his thoughts on technology, products and services. No investment advice is offered in this article. All duties are disclaimed. Lundquist works separately for a private investment firm which may at any time invest in companies whose products are discussed in this article and no disclosure of securities transactions will be made.


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