San Francisco–Red Hat is the strongest Linux company in the world when it comes to servers, but it has almost no presence on the desktop. That will be changing in 2012 with the reintroduction of a Simple Protocol for Independent Computing Environments (SPICE)-based virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI).
It’s not that Red Hat has ever completely done away with the Linux desktop. The Red Hat Enterprise Linux Desktop is still available, but in the big scheme of Red Hat’s business, the desktop counts for little. That may be changing though as Red Hat gets ready to explore a server-based VDI thin-client desktop.
This revised desktop will use SPICE, which like Microsoft’s Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) and Citrix’s Independent Computing Architecture (ICA), is a desktop presentation services protocol. The point of these programs is to let the servers do the heavy lifting while a thin-client gives the user the illusion of a full fat-client desktop.