Monday 30 July 2012

Mobile Browser Market share: A market stall?

I am a big fan and regular reader of PPK's Quirks Mode website and blog. Recently, PPK completed his second part of his mobile browser market share analysis and I thought I would share some of the highlights of his report. 

To start things off, I thought that I should include a quick snap-shot of global market share of mobile browsers. As you can see, Opera, Android and iPhone are the top three contenders with Nokia rapidly losing ground.

PPK has done some further work here and has broken down the growth and change of the top countries with the following table.

# = number of browsers with 5% or more market share
CountryMobile sharechTop browser#VolatilityTies
South Korea21%-2Android23%
Netherlands6%+1Tie22%Safari, Android
Mexico5%0Tie48%Safari, Android, Opera
Egypt4%0Tie48%Opera, Nokia

In addition, I have slightly abbreviated one of PPK's tables to demonstrate the growth in the mobile market on a global basis.
The interesting thing here, is that growth of the mobile market is appearing to stall (with Nigeria, South Korea and Brazil losing ground). I guess we may want to start asking the following questions;
  • Is global mobile growth starting to slow?
  • If so, why?
  • Will cheaper smartphones be the solution, or do we need cheaper data plans, or both?
  • If growth picks up again, will it be at a much reduced pace?
You can find the country by country break-down of these reports at PPK's blog here: 

Note: PPK references and data rely on Statcounter (Global Stats) located at So, caveat emptor: that said, I use their metric and have a measure of trust in their results.


Quirks Mode Blog

Wednesday 25 July 2012

Quest Workspace Desktop Virtualization Connector for Linux version 7.5

This post is not completely aligned with our usual topics of application compatibility, but I thought that I would help our Quest/DELL team and mention the latest update to the Quest Virtualization connectors.

Here goes...

Connector for Linux v7.5 is out with a new look and new experience optimizations, together with expanded platform support and many other fixes and features. Two of the most important additions are EOP Xtream and Seamless Windows. EOP Xtream improves the user experience over high latency network connections, especially WAN and Internet connections, and Seamless Windows takes Windows applications and makes them appear on Linux systems as if they are running locally. The inclusion of Seamless Windows makes this a milestone release as this is the first non-Windows Connector to support it.  

For more information regarding what is fixed and other important information related to this release of the Connector for Linux please see the Release Notes.

New features include;
  • EOP Xtream
  • Seamless Windows
  • New User Interface
  • Revised installer packaging
  • Updated platform support – Ubuntu, RHEL, Debian, CentOS and Fedora
  • Auto-configuration
  • Improved Flash Redirection

Also, you can read more about this and other Quest Virtualization connectors at the Quest Communities site here:


Tuesday 24 July 2012

ESG Lab Validation Report: Quest Workspace Virtualization

The kind people at ESG have released a new white-paper/report on a comparison of Quest's Workspace Desktop Virtualization with Microsoft's Hyper-V System Center. 

The report was based on QWDV and Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1 with Hyper-V running on 40 industry-standard servers (each with 12 CPU cores, up to 96GB of RAM, and cost-effective 10K RPM DAS) was used to deploy 3,000 fully functioning virtual desktops that were ready for logon in about 41 minutes.

Here are some highlights of the report
  • Performance scaled in a perfectly linear fashion as the number of virtual desktops was scaled from 200 to 3,000.
  • ESG Lab verified an impressive reduction in total IOPS of up to 88% when provisioning desktops in a Hyper-V enabled virtual desktop environment with Quest HyperCache and cost-effective DAS compared to a similarly configured SAN-attached test bed without HyperCache.
  • Quest integration with System Center 2012 Virtual Machine Manager simplified the policy-based provisioning and management of virtual desktops and terminal server/RD Session Hosts.
  • System Center 2012 and the Hyper-V virtualization layer that’s built into Windows Server 2008 R2 at no additional charge was used to create an extremely scalable and cost-effective alternative to more expensive VDI solutions that rely on SAN and solid-state storage technologies.
Here is a graph of the results from the ESG report;

You can read the whole report here: 

Read more here: 

Enterprise Strategy Group

Microsoft Hyper-V Start Page

Monday 16 July 2012

Happy Quest Customers

One thing I like to say is that “there is no better customer than a happy customer, except for a happy customer that goes on the record for us” (you can quote me on that ). 

Over the last couple of weeks Quest has published some great customer testimonials on QuestTV where vWorkspace customers appear on camera (with excellent work from Bill and this team – thanks Bill! ) talking about why they love vWorkspace. 

You can find out more here, with the following links to two video case studies located on the Quest TV website;

Hospital La Fe, Valencia, Spain:  (the Spanish are real vWorkspace champions!)

 You can also find a a collection of written case studies here:

Wednesday 11 July 2012

App-V 5.0 Sequencer now in BETA!

You have probably been using the latest version of App-V (4.6 Service Pack 1) for a while now as it was released in April 2011.  Read more here

And so, the latest release from Microsoft, Version of 5.0 will be news and I believe it will make a big difference to your streaming and virtualization projects (note the difference between the two) 

There are some pretty hefty changes with the release (remember it's still in BETA, some features are not currently supported, like full off-line streaming) of Microsoft App-V virtualization technology.

Some of the highlights include:

Q drive: The (infamous) Q drive has been eliminated. People complained, I wondered and Microsoft responded. No more Q drive to mount your applications in App-V. Referencing the MSDN blog posting, 

"The new best practice is to set the Primary Virtual Application Directory (PVAD) to the same path that the installer is installing its application to.  Matching the installer path to the Primary Virtual Application Directory path allows the Sequencer to create a package that has optimal runtime performance."

Stream Optimizing Packages: There are now three options for Streaming packages in App-V including;
  1. On-demand streaming delivery (Default): A package created and skipping the stream optimization step will be streamed on-demand to the machine via stream faults.
  2. Stream optimized: A package that goes through stream optimization process contains a primary feature block and this entire block is streamed before launching.  This can be performed in the Stream Optimization step in the Sequencer, just like 4.6 SP1 release.
  3. Fully downloaded (not available in Beta): The package will be fully downloaded before it can be launched.  There is a checkbox that allows you to specify all applications in the package to be fully downloaded.
Better Support for Reboots: I remember that this was "never a problem" but it now it appears that this non-problem has been fixed. App-V Version 5.0 (BETA) now processes reboots natively. This will make a big difference for the proper/full capturing of application installations.

File Type Associations (FTA's): Microsoft made setting/editing the file type assocations (what happens to your application extensions) easier to edit.

The biggest change with the release of App-V 5.0 was the file format. The App-V Sequencer now produces the following;
  • .appv package.  This contains the sequenced application files, registry, stream map, and manifest.
  • Deployment configuration and user configuration template files.  These template files are used to customize package functionalities on the client during run-time.
  • Report.xml file.  This is a saved report of the Sequencing warnings and errors that occurred during the sequencing.
  • MSI file.  This is the MSI that allows administrators to deploy sequenced packages via MSI.
Most importantly, the file format is a basic ZIP file. Yes, a ZIP file. You can not edit/add and view your App-V packages with the need for special software or mounting your application as a drive.

Monday 9 July 2012

Windows 8: Upgrade with a side order of SBS, please

It looks like Microsoft choose this week of the Microsoft Worldwide Partner conference to release some key milestones for the Windows 8 Server Platform. Jeffrey from the Microsoft Windows blog says; 
"Windows Server 2012 will be released to manufacturing in the first week of August.  The code will be complete and we will begin delivering it to our hardware partners.  Then, the product will be generally available to customers worldwide through multiple channels in September.
In addition, it looks like Windows 8 will also be ready for "Release to Manufacturers" (RTM) in August as well. Tami Reller (Microsoft CFO) noted the following; 
"that Windows 8 is on track to Release to Manufacturing (RTM) the first week of August. For enterprise customers with Software Assurance benefits, they will have full access to Windows 8 bits as early as August."
All this means to most of us (i.e. the consumer) is that Windows 8 will definitely be ready to ship on real hardware for the Christmas season.

In addition, you can now upgrade from Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7 to Windows 8 Pro for just $39.99 - which I think is a pretty good deal.

That said, as I am now a DELL employee, I should be able to get a significant discount, eh?

You can read more here:

Windows WPC Conference Site:

Widnows Team Blog

Upgrade to Widnows 8 Pro

Tuesday 3 July 2012

I am a DELL employee!

You might have heard - I am now a DELL employee. Who would have thought it could happen?


Well, Dell has bought Quest for roughly $2.4 Billion. Actually, I am pretty excited about this - the deal definitely makes sense for Dell and Quest needed to do "something" to accelerate it's sales and revenue.

You can read the Quest press release here:

From this press release, it appears that the key elements in the deal included Quest's software focus on monitoring and identity management. Some further examples include;

  • The Quest One Identity and Access Management solution family adds to Dell’s very strong set of security assets with SonicWALL and Secureworks, creating a comprehensive set of security solutions to address important customer needs.
  • Quest’s Performance Monitoring solutions for applications, networks and databases address a rapidly growing need for our customers.  Industry analysts have consistently ranked Quest Foglight as a leading application performance monitoring solution.  Businesses of all sizes are looking to reduce their IT complexity and automate workloads for their IT departments.  Customers worldwide leverage Foglight to continually monitor their IT environments, proactively identifying and remedying performance issues before they become bigger problems.
  • Quest’s Windows Server Management solutions complement Dell Services’ rapidly growing application modernization practice with recently acquired Clerity Solutions and Make Technologies.

I am sure that ChangeBASE is to be found somewhere in the mix. :)

You can read more about this in the New York Times here: