There has been and is a great deal of work being done to address the inhibitors for virtual desktop adoption.
There are large vendors driving a lot of this change and the technology is more likely to take off with their financial, R&D backing and marketing/education efforts. The technology is certainly maturing.
Adoption in this space is limited because of four major factors: User profiles, cost, performance (both actual and perceived), and complexity. But there is significant opportunity for adoption of application, OS streaming, and other emerging technologies because of the potential benefits associated with the centralisation of desktop resources.
New solutions promising to address performance and cost, due to the advance in network infrastructure, are lowering the hurdles for adoption.
Obvious benefits provided by desktop virtualisation are centred on resource centralisation, resource utilisation and hardware cost.
Desktop virtualisation addresses certain issues around the physical management of distributed desktops, but it also introduces other management challenges of centralised virtual machines.
The tools to manage virtual environments are less mature than physical management tools. New solutions are promising to address areas that have been inhibitors to adoption including performance (e.g. multimedia limitations of the RDP protocol), cost (e.g. SAN storage) and complexity.
The future adoption of desktop virtualisation solutions will be dependent on the cost savings that can be realised through the technology, and a very large component of this cost is management.
Though desktop virtualisation offers obvious benefits in terms of resource centralisation, resource utilisation and hardware cost, it also introduces another set of systems that have to be managed, updated, patched and retired.
The performance barrier will continue to close between physical and virtual desktops as network infrastructure, server capacity, and virtualisation technology improve.