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O’Boy, what a year! 2023 is almost in the books; let’s look in the rearview mirror.

O’Boy, what a year! 2023 is almost in the books; let’s look in the rearview mirror.

IGEL made the most significant announcement in a very long time, delivering a new platform:  the IGEL COSMOS – including IGEL OS 12 – modernized endpoint OS with many structural changes. In the past, IGEL OS has always been tied to the firmware concept. One image contains all the applications customers demand to connect to their cloud workspaces and on-premises resources. With OS 12, you now build your OS by adding the apps you need; this means no overhead, and you can customize how your endpoints will look and behave. Applications are added using the IGEL App Portal and distributed to your endpoints using the IGEL UMS 12 (Universal Management Suite). Adding the IGEL Onboarding Service simplifies the enrollment of IGEL endpoints out in the wild. IGEL added SSO (Single Sign On) functionality, protecting the IGEL OS Desktop with an authentication layer of choice of IdP for the EntraID, Okta, Ping Identity, VMWare workspace ONE access, and generic OpenID Connect.  This was all announced at the IGEL Disrupt EUC conference in spring.

The IGEL App Portal opens possibilities for third-party software vendors to package and make apps available for the IGEL OS. Technologies like ControlUP Edge DX and Remote DX, deviceTRUST, and Liquidware Stratusphere UX have been added as the IGEL App SDK has been made available for Application vendors. Many more to come!

IGEL released the IGEL Windows 365 App, enabling easy access to Microsoft Windows 365 resources, and continues to evolve Windows 365 access together with IGEL Azure Virtual Desktop App.

IGEL has built and released the new IGEL Imprivata Agent, which makes IGEL OS the only endpoint OS enabling Imprivata Tap-and-Go for Windows 365 and Azure Virtual Desktop.
The IGEL Imprivata app also Tap-in to VMWare Horizon, and full support for Citrix Cloud and on-prem is around the corner.

With the new structure of IGEL OS, more use-cases are fulfilled. IGEL OS is now the ideal operating system for cloud-delivered workspaces, on-premises delivered Desktops and Apps and extends with “browser only” and local apps workflows.

During 2023, what everyone in the past referred to as Citrix was joined and split up into separate business units under the name of Cloud Software Group, where Citrix is one business unit, NetScaler is one, XenServer is one, etc. IGEL has a strong business relationship with Citrix and sees that the tech release avalanche that Citrix released is mind-blowing. So many new innovations have been released over the past year and integrated into Citrix Workspace App for Linux and IGEL OS. Citrix has also switched the focus from “Cloud only” to Cloud and On-Prem = Equals, working on feature parity and giving the customer the choice of where to run the workloads. Hybrid approach! From what I see with Citrix, there is no “One fits all” anymore. Good evolution!

On that note, Broadcom has acquired VMWare, and there is a market vacuum about what will happen with VMWare EUC. Hopefully, the VMWare Horizon (EUC) value will be valued by another organization and continue its long-term success as a VDI platform.

What’s intriguing to think of when it comes to Cloud vs. On-Prem is that Citrix CVAD/Daas and VMWare Horizon/Horizon Cloud have been making efforts to give the customer the Hybrid choice, Microsoft also has an answer: Azure Stack HCI, and with the ongoing development on Azure Virtual Desktop on Azure Stack HCI Microsoft is also acknowledging the hybrid choice. You might ask yourself why does anyone need on-prem when you have the hyper-scalers to run your workloads? The simple answer is twofold – Latency and legal requirements of the organizations.
Let’s quickly break this down: Latency – Depending on the type of workload you are delivering, low latency is key for good End User Experience. It can be about accessing local peripherals but also about delivering Rich media session streams. Think about the complexity of delivering multi-screen 4K resolutions at 60 frames per second; latency will be devastating. The legal side of things? Can governments put workloads and data in a cloud originating from another country?

With all the changes in the market that have been going on during 2023, this has also affected #Community. Looking at IGEL Community, it’s a growing resort for people discussing ideas and challenges. It is such a valuable platform, as when digging deeper into IGEL, what you see on the surface when test-driving the OS and management, there is so much more on the capabilities. When you start looking at scripting and customization, the IGEL Community is a resource to count on! The IGEL community grew 10% YtD in 2023.
Some of the Citrix User Groups announced changes from the CUGC brand to more of an EUC forum. I’ve seen that in the Nordics and the UK, at least. Citrix also announced changes to CUGC.

On a personal level, when it comes to community activities, I have been recognized by Citrix to become a CTP (Citrix Technology Professional) for my work in sharing knowledge with the community. IGEL also recognized me for my contributions and awarded me to become an IGEL Community Insider. I added my renewal of Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional) for my third year and my NVIDIA NGCA (NVIDIA vGPU Community Advisor) for my fifth year.

The #AI revolution has started! Microsoft made an enormous footprint in making AI available for anyone, anywhere. Just look at Bing Chat. It gives anyone access to AI datasets and the possibility to leverage the new technology. Then, Co-Pilot rolled out to virtually all apps in the Microsoft portfolio. You are right; Microsoft wasn’t the main driver in the early stages of AI, though, by tight collaboration with OpenAI, they rapidly extended the AI use cases. All were announced at Microsoft Ignite mid-November -23. I’d say it has started!

IGEL has been going through organizational changes over the last year, including adding Klaus Oesterman as CEO and making significant changes to the leadership team. Exciting to see the changes in market focus. Keep your eyes out for all the changes that are in the pipeline!

So, what about 2024? My view of what’s coming!

IGEL will undoubtedly continue expanding the IGEL APP Portal portfolio. More apps from 3rd party software vendors will be made available. I’m thinking of Enterprise Browsers as they will play a more prominent role going forward. I know that we will see a remake of IGEL OS desktop GUI (Graphical User Interface) that takes the User Experience to a new level. We have already started to see usability improvements in IGEL OS supporting the mobile use case, and that journey will accelerate. Of course, IGEL will continue to update the Apps we package for OS 12.

I have seen numbers of 700 Million Windows 10 machines still alive. Those 700M (?) devices are facing the EOL of Windows 10 in 2025. It’s mind-blowing to think about the IT waste that will be created for all the machines that need to be replaced, as the hardware requirements for Windows 11 are different and more demanding. IGEL has the solution for you, together with Virtualization technologies and the delivery of virtual apps and desktops. What if you re-image your Windows 10 devices that will go out of support and instead put your Windows desktop in a data center, be it in the cloud or on-premises? You will be able to extend the lifetime of your existing machines and save lots of money, as you won’t need to buy new hardware. Your budget changes from CAPEX to OPEX and will be much more predictable. Did you know that somewhere around 85% of the carbon footprint results from the manufacturing and shipping of the unit? By not “rip and replace” your hardware, you will contribute to a greener world. Yes, some of the devices might need to be refreshed, and over time, devices need to be refreshed. That’s why IGEL is teaming up with manufacturers like Lenovo, LG, and HP. When the time comes, you will replace your hardware units with slimmer devices, again contributing to less emissions.
The race for Windows 11 upgrade will have to increase rapidly in 2024 for corporations to have a chance of avoiding running unsupported operating systems at mass in late 2025, which is a jeopardizing game. Hybrid work will continue to evolve, and I’m sure you want to ensure your users have a trouble-free endpoint in their hands. IGEL OS gives you good protection from Ransomware and other rouge code.

I believe we will see an extension of offloading technologies as optimizing the User Experience is still becoming more requested. New Microsoft Teams has just been released, indicating that new technology is coming to the virtualization EUC space.

The evolution of AI will probably introduce more players in the market on the GPU side. NVIDIA is leading this space, though I believe AMD and Intel can potentially deliver alternatives. At Microsoft Ignite, Satya Nadella announced Azure Maia AI chip. It will be interesting to follow this evolution!

IGEL will extend its MSP (Managed Service Provider) offering to expand its footprint in this segment. Broadening the usability and the licensing possibilities will be key to success.

I look forward to seeing more niche players in the IGEL App Portal as diversity adds value. I’m looking at Parallels RAS, HP Anywhere, Amazon Workspaces, and others. Would be really interesting to see more alternative VDI offerings. Citrix has a nice integration with Linux Desktops and Apps for VDI. ThinLinc is already part of the IGEL App Portal, which gives you Linux VDI. I’m also looking forward to seeing more local apps offered, where we today have Zoom, for instance. Why not give every customer the possibility to package their own apps?

With that said, I wish you happy holidays, a Merry Christmas, and a Happy New Year! See you in 2024!


Fredrik Brattstig

Technology Evangelist
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