Is Podio the Next Generation Desktop?

During Citrix Synergy last week, I was in the audience watching the demos. One demo in particular, Podio, got me thinking about the value of a desktop. What is a desktop? Is it needed? Why?

I’ve been a proponent of a desktop operating system and of desktop virtualization. Being a workshifting Citrite (what we call Citrix Employees), I use a VDI desktop every day. In fact, I’m creating this blog in my VDI desktop. Many months ago in another blog, I discussed we shouldn’t ignore or dismiss the desktop operating system yet. I said we need to focus on the users and not so much on the technology.

As I see it, the current desktop model allows users to consolidate all of their resources into a single repository. It could be better. For my job, I usually have 4-5 simultaneous projects where I am actively working on materials daily. I’m also a member of many virtual teams (more than I can typically remember) where I’m active on a weekly/monthly basis. So what happens is this:

  1. I have many browser favorites defined to each team’s sites
  2. I have many OneNote notebooks with bits of information for each project/virtual team. Many of these are from email discussions that I want to keep
  3. I have shortcuts after shortcuts linking me to the projects/virtual teams’ files.
  4. I get emails for each project and virtual team constantly, but many are out of context as it is difficult to remember what this is in reference to. I save many of these into my OneNote notebooks for reference.
  5. I use Outlook to organize my delivery dates for different items for the different projects and teams.
  6. I get a new application that is for one of the virtual teams

I don’t think I’m alone in these challenges. There is a lot for me to maintain as I’m sure many others do the same thing. There is a lot going on. My Windows 7 virtual desktop pulls all of these things together.

At Citrix Synergy 2012, I was listening to the keynote and watching the demo of Podio. I started to wonder if Podio is the next step in the evolution of the desktop. Can Podio consolidate all of my resources together better than a desktop can? If I were to go full throttle into Podio for my work, it might look something like the following

  • Each project or virtual team would have a designated workspace that I’ve subscribed to. All discussions would happen within Podio.
  • Any piece of information or file created, referenced, or reviewed for the project or virtual team would be incorporated into the Podio workspace
  • Any application needed for the project or virtual team would be integrated into the workspace
  • All milestones, timelines, people associated with the project/virtual team should be defined within the workspace
  • The experience should be the same for my iPad, my personal Windows laptop, my home PC, my phone, etc.

If these things happen, Podio might be the next generation desktop for me. Podio not only consolidates all of my resources into one location, but Podio also organizes these resources into projects or virtual teams. If all of my projects and many of these virtual teams move to Podio, does that mean I will spend most of my day within Podio and less time in Outlook? Do I still need a Windows desktop? This is something I’m going to try.

Who would have thought the desktop could get interesting J

Daniel Feller

XenDesktop Design Handbook

2 thoughts on “Is Podio the Next Generation Desktop?”

  1. Love this idea, Dan. Was thinking the same thing as I was playing with the iPhone app on the flight home from Summit/Synergy last week. I could completely replace our cumbersome Outlook/Sharepoint/desktop “collaboration” that currently consumes probably close to six licenses of something or other not including my corporate laptop OS. With Podio, I could do probably 90% of my current architecture project work in there alone – on whatever device I want! Gonna give this a real-world test also. It is very cool!!


  2. Spot on. Another “me too” – when I saw the demo at Synergy of Podio with ShareFile and apps from XenApp the light bulb went on. Could this be a desktop replacement? A workspace to replace the desktop? I’m starting to play with Podio and am keen to see if Podio can really work as a true workspace.


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