Unless some considerable market pressure is exerted on Microsoft, this higher VDI pricing will serve to deter some customers from implementing VDI. The higher Microsoft licensing costs alone (about $200 per desktop every three years) often make VDI look unattractive in a cost-benefit analysis. Sure, Microsoft will pretend to recommend the technology, such as through its listing of Citrix XenDesktop combined with Hyper-V as it recommended VDI solution, but at the same time the company does not really recommend VDI at all.
Of course, this VDI aversion will change as soon as Microsoft has its own native VDI capability. Once it does, I expect the current anti-VDI pricing to magically decrease. Perhaps that's cynical, but it certainly seems logical. If there were some way for Microsoft to charge twice as much for server licenses run on non-Microsoft hypervisors without encountering antitrust laws, I have to imagine the company would do that, too.
However, the really interesting thing about this is that Microsoft has been selling its desktop operating system as a subscription for nearly two years, but it doesn't appear that anyone outside of the VDI space has really given it a whole lot of thought. Is it so outlandish to assume that all of Microsoft's products might eventually end up as subscriptions? If the Vista upgrade debacle repeats itself, big deal -- Microsoft is still getting its pound of flesh whether or not you use the new stuff.
No matter what happens on the subscription front, VECD will continue to be a thorn in the sides of those recommending or implementing VDI.
Read more about virtualization in InfoWorld's Virtualization Channel.