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Microsoft Virtualization Secrets by John Savill

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Designing the Best User Environment

I want to start with the desktop. While your customers’ first interactions with your company may be via a website that is hosted from your datacenter or public cloud service, it is the organization’s employees (or partners or individual contributors or whatever term is used) who represent the organization. Looking first at the desktop also helps to identify services you need to offer, which will likely be housed in the datacenter.

The operating system is a huge concern to the IT department because it is the operating system that enables enhanced security, connectivity, and manageability, all of which drive IT efforts.

The user environment is made up of layers, as shown in Figure 13-1. When users connect to their workspace, they see their own customized environment, which consists of desktop shortcuts, the Start menu, libraries of information, their own desktop background, application customizations, and so on. Those shortcuts and customizations give users access to their personal and shared data, which is manipulated with applications. Those applications run on the OS, the layer of least concern to users. This is not to say users don’t care about the OS; users certainly appreciate new OS features that make their lives easier, such as improved searching and faster responsiveness. However, the OS is just a vehicle that gets the users where they are going—it enables access to their data, which is what they ultimately care about.

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