Ulteo expands open source virtual desktop

From the ‘Mandrake’s legacy‘ files:

Ulteo is out with a new release of its open virtual desktop (OVD) today that now enables Windows as well as Linux applications.

Ulteo is an interesting company co-founded by the founder of Mandrake Linux Gael Duval. When I spoke with Duval last year about the initial 1.0 release, he told me that the plan was to expand to Windows in 2009 — and here it is.

The basic idea behind Ulteo is that it lets users access applications in a SaaS type model. Ulteo provides OpenOffice.org aas a virtual online instance to users. With the new Windows edition, it looks like an enterprise could virtually deliver whatever Windows applications they wanted to for users.

“For Windows applications, the Ulteo OVD runs on top of Windows Server Terminal Services. In addition, it is an ideal solution for server management, load balancing and monitoring Windows TS servers,” Gael Duval, CTO of Ulteo said in a statement. “But we also have requests to integrate the Ulteo OVD with commercial or Open Source portals, Enterprise Content Management, LDAP or Active Directory, etc. Since it is Open Source, these integrations are happening really fast.”

The virtual app and desktop delivery market is a crowded one, even on the open source side. Citrix with its various XenServer initiatives is a key player as is VMware and Red Hat’s Qumranet with KVM. How effectively Ulteo will be able to compete is a difficult question to answer in my opinion.

Ulteo however is all open source so the barriers to entry are low for anyone that wants to try it out. Duval managed to carve a nice niche for Mandrake against larger competitors while he was there and I have little doubt that he’ll carve a nice niche for Ulteo too.

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