Quoting from CRN:
The Utility Company, an Ottawa-based IT franchising company, will begin beta-testing a new VMware-based virtualized desktop service in November and plans to release the first version of the service in early 2008.
As part of the franchisor’s ConnectedOffice remote management service, the first iteration of the virtualized desktop environment will place VMware virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) inside the firewall at a client site, according to The Utility Company president Mark Scott. Around mid-2008, the company will release a version of ConnectedOffice that hosts the VDI at The Utility Company’s own service center…
Read the whole article at the source.
Obviously the interesting part of the offering will be the rentable, on-demand VDI part.
The Utility Company is not the first one trying to lease virtual infrastructures, Amazon is one of the pioneers in this area with its Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) since one year already, but it’s the first company trying to do this for large deployments like ones required for hosted desktop scenarios.
Besides technical difficulties, The Utility Company will have to face tough privacy issues since it’s basically asking its customers to process sensitive corporate informations through a 3rd party, remote infrastructure.