If you were a fan of Mandrake Linux (now Mandriva), founder Gael Duval has a new open source company called Ulteo. This is Duval’s new enterprise since being ousted from Mandriva a couple of years ago. Internetnews.com reports:

Ulteo’s new enterprise Open Virtual Desktop Solution is an attempt to break into the broader virtualization and remote desktop space. It’s a market that is fiercely competitive with Citrix, VMware and Red Hat’s Qumranet all angling for a piece of the market.

According to Ulteo’s Web site, the Open Virtual Desktop philosophy is “to allow the IT department to design centrally managed end user virtual desktops in a couple of clicks, combining applications across different environments (first Linux, then Windows, Unix and AJAX) so that organizations can leverage their application assets, supported by the lightest and cheapest infrastructure.”

Right now the Ulteo enterprise product will only deliver Linux applications, but plans are going forward to add support for Windows applications in 2009. (If you’re interested, they’re looking for a few good Windows admins. Really.) The solution is a free download and requires at least two PCs running Ubuntu 8.04.1/x86-32 Server. On the client-side, however, all that is required is Firefox 2/3 or Internet Explorer 6/7, with Javascript enabled and the Java Runtime Environment 1.5/1.6. The business model calls for converting some customers from the free product to purchasing support and additional services.

Ulteo stresses that its solution will simplify the management and support of end user desktops and applications and make for an open, collaborative, and fully mobile virtual environment. Do you think it will catch on?