The Future of End User Computing

VMworld session notes: Shawn Bass: The Future of End User Computing

Written on Aug 30 2015

6,079 views, 3 comments

by Brian Madden

I attended Shawn Bass’s session at VMworld 2015 on Sunday called The Future of End User Computing. This was one of the 30-minute “quick talk” sessions. (Which, given Shawn’s reputation, seemed appropriate.)

This session was amazing. Shawn didn’t talk about VMware products or the future direction of VMware, rather, he just ran through lots and lots of trends, facts, and data related to end-user computing that will be the reality over the next five years that will apply to all of us, regardless of whether we use VMware, Citrix, whatever…

My notes are broken down into the major technology areas Shawn talked about.

Windows 10 in the enterprise

  • Microsoft wants 1B devices running Windows 10 in three years.
  • There are 1.5-2B total PC/laptop-type devices in the world today.
  • 1.5B of these are running some version of Windows today:
    • 950M Windows 7
    • 250M Windows 8 / 8.1
    • 250M Windows XP (Yep, that’s 250 million PCs & laptops still running Windows XP in the world today.)
  • 14M devices were running Windows 10 within 24 hours of its release. This was the fastest deployment of Windows on a launch day.
  • 75M devices running Windows 10 within the first month. Shawn’s guess is that 90-95% of these are consumer
  • After 1 month of release, Windows 10 is now in the #2 position for most popular OS according to world-wide browser access statistics.

Windows 10 will be the quickest-adopted version of Windows in the enterprise

According to Shawn, and here’s why:

  • It’s free for consumers, so little barrier to adoption
  • Windows 10 has similar resource consumption as Windows 7/8, so if you can run Windows 7, you can run Windows 10.
  • It’s easy to upgrade to Windows 10
    • High app compatibility. XP to 7 was full of app compatibility challenges. Plus most enterprises were going from 32-bit to x64 then too. Now that most enterprises are on Windows 7 x64, there’s very little friction.
    • In place upgrades are a thing now
    • The new Runtime Provisioning feature of Window 10 will let organizations onboard new devices from manufacturers with little effort to get them to their corporate images.
  • Windows 10 has “full” management from EMM. Windows 7 was almost completely done via Group Policy. Everything was domain joined. Windows 8 / 8.1 added some EMM management, but it wasn’t enough. With Windows 10 you can manage everything with light tough EMM that used to require GPOs and domain joined systems.
  • It’s not Windows 8. The feeling was that Windows 8 was too disruptive, (even though it did have better performance and better security that Windows 7). Windows 10 is a better bridge between old and new style apps, and it’s intuitive to use.
  • Many CIOs have said, “We waited too long to move from XP to Windows 7.” They got too close to the deadline, and they don’t want to make that mistake again.

Windows 10 will be a catalyst for change in end user computing. Anytime you touch something that interfaces with the user, you have the opportunity to change the way that things are done.


  • Smartphones outsold PCs in 2011
  • Today there are 2.5-3B smartphones, 1B+ tablets, 1.5-2B PCs in the world.
  • In 2020, smartphones will be 6B
  • In 2020, tablets will be 1.5-2B
  • In 2020, 70% of world will have smartphones
  • In 2020, mobile networks will be 5G with 20gbps
  • Today the average person in the US has 3.2 devices. In 2020 that will be 5 devices.
  • Gartner predicts that by, 2018, more than 50% of users will use a tablet or smartphone first for all online activities. We’re seeing this today. You wake up and go to your phone, etc. This does not mean the desktop is dead, but the quick interactions with information and workflows without having to sit down at a PC is huge.
  • In 2020, there will 20-25B devices for IoT (AirWatch already manages IoT devices, and will continue for more and more embedded systems.)
  • Modern desktop OSes, including Windows 10 and Mac OS X, are well-managed from EMM platforms.
  • IOS 8+ and Android L+ have great EMM and work/personal separation built-in.
  • BYOD is on the rise and will more than double by 2020. This is driven by smartphones, though laptops and tablets are increasing their shares. CXOs are saying “I want out of the device acquisition and management business.” This is the quickest way to reduce expenses.
  • Technologies like VDI and RDSH enable BYOD for any device with IT lending very little operational support.
  • VDI and RDSH will continue to grow due to device proliferation. You just can’t manage all these different devices, and VDI/RDSH really make the device not matter.
  • The future of systems management is light touch. Disk imagining will decrease in the future.
  • Look for increased trend to publish Windows applications as more apps are moved to web-based SaaS solutions and local Windows app needs decrease.
  • Windows is not going anywhere in the enterprise anytime soon. Especially as apps go to SaaS, we’ll use even more VDI/RDSH app publishing.
  • Enterprises are moving away from VPNs and going to micro-VPN tunnels. This is built in to Windows 10. VMware AirWatch has this via NSX. It’s coming in general across the board

Identity and security

  • Users have too many logins. (But not too many passwords. 🙂 Users average 25-35 accounts which they use regularly, with total counts usually over 100.
  • The weakest security on one site, when broken, will be used on the 100-200 most common site on the internet, and many of these user/password combinations work!
  • Most users tend to only have 5-7 unique passwords.
  • Two factor authentication is great, but not a substitute for reusing passwords.
  • There’s a great website,, which tells non-IT people how to turn on 2FA for Apple, Google, Twitter, Facebook, etc. Tell your friends & family.
  • Corporate end users will still need to engage their corporate IT folks to get 2FA for all their apps.
  • VMware will be able to leverage AirWatch device enrollment as a second factor of authentication.
  • Biometric can simplify 2FA. Apple’s TouchID is actually great. They do it right. Not so much for others. There are some Android devices that stored the fingerprint images as regular files on the device’s file system, so a stolen device meant that the thief also has access to fingerprint images!
  • Windows Hello is very effective biometric solution. It can also works with infrared cameras which will be coming out in many devices soon. These cannot be fooled by a photograph.
  • Biometric authentication will be integrated into Horizon.
  • SaaS apps need to be SSO with single-click access from mobile devices. (VMware will talk more about this this week.)
  • Mobile users should not need different methods to access Windows, web, and mobile apps. They need a unified, yet device aware, catalog. (More on that this week too.)

The bottom line is that business consumers want simpler access. They don’t want to boot up, start the VPN, login etc. Mobile users don’t want to have to VPN into the corporate network. Combing micro-VPNs, multi-factor authentication, and centralized & federated identity management will be a game changer in the next five years.

Remote protocols user experience

  • Every single endpoint today—desktop, tablet, smartphone, etc.—has a GPU in it.
  • The majority of VDI/RDSH remoting protocols do not deliver a solution that leverages a client-wide GPU for decoding.
  • A client-side GPU can dramatically improve users’ perceived performance.
  • Use of GPU is inevitable.
  • Protocols will continue improvements of compensating for latency and packet loss
  • Protocols will move to H.264 which will let the client-side H.264 decoding hardware decode it “for free.”
  • 4K video will create new set of challenges, as it requires 15-20mbps
  • GPUs greatly improve ability for display protocols to handle 4K resolution encoding.
  • HEVC/H.265 will replace H.264, but hardware decode support will lag for some time.


  • Growth of data is crazy.
  • IBM says 90% of global data was created in the past 2 years. Think about this. It’s mind-numbing. 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created every day!!!
  • The greatest use of cloud storage is driven by consumers.
    • This used to be about data backup.
    • By 2017, 30-50% of consumer data will be stored in the public cloud
  • A big reason for this is device proliferation. You can have all data on every device, yet you want to access everything from everywhere. High speed mobile networks make this easy.
  • Enterprises are slowly moving to cloud storage, but not fast enough for users.

Growing importance of search

  • Think about where users’ data is today:
    • Network shared drives
    • User home drivers
    • Intranet / SharePoint / etc.
    • Corporate social networks
    • Corporate cloud apps
    • Personal cloud apps
    • Social media
    • Locally on the users’ desktops and laptops
    • Email client
    • IM client
    • Browser
    • Browser history
    • … plus probably more??
  • We’re going to see a lot of intelligent search assistants which will index and search across all this.

So, all this, and Shawn managed to finish with 48 seconds remaining on the countdown clock?

Seriously, this session was amazing. I was a really smart setup to paint the future landscape all of VMware’s EUC plans will be built for. And it’s great for everyone since this is the world we are going to live in, regardless of how we decide to deal with it.

Congrats to Shawn. Really, really good session.

BTW, everyone knows what a fast talker Shawn is. Taking notes from a Shawn session requires some fast typing too! 🙂 I typed 1150 words of notes in 29 minutes and 12 seconds. 🙂

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