"Traditional profiles are dead, long live layered profiles!"
This article has been in my pipeline for quite a while, and after talking to a number of subject matter experts I thought that now is the time to finally publish it: When dealing with virtual Windows desktops or remote user sessions, profile management and personalization pops up as a discussion topic or a pain point on a regular basis. This has not changed since 10 years and it is independent of the underlying virtualization or remoting technology. As a rule of thumb, once or twice a year, Windows user profile management is on the agenda. But things have changed over time. A couple of years ago, it was all about maintaining the EXACT layout of a user’s desktop. Moving application icons by a couple of pixels or removing the custom wallpaper may have resulted in seriously angry users. Typically, this is not the case anymore since users are used to having access to other personalized “desktops”, like their tablets or smartphones. They have learned how to deal with different background images and user interface element locations. But still, user profile management is a hot topic when it comes to maintaining application-specific settings across various work-related Windows desktops.