One complaint I heard about managed desktops (virtualized or not) is that people can personalize their desktops because such desktops are typically locked down. For example, users may not be able to change their desktop background pictures. can hang my kids pictures on my office walls. Why can I do the same with my desktop users may say.

With the release of desktop servers, we understand that being able to personalize users desktops are important to many users. We are taking steps to address such concerns.

What are the main reasons to disallow desktop background to be changed? Is it Security, performance, user profile management?

My search shows that many organizations disabled complex desktop backgrounds for performance reasons when the desktops are serviced remotely (via Citrix for example). It may be a valid concern on a slow connection. But in my own testing in a LAN environment, I didn’t notice any performance difference to my naked eyes. What has been your experience? If this is the biggest concern, what if Citrix software can give you the intelligence to turn the background on/off based on connection speed intelligently instead of an all or nothing solution?

Also it looks like it may be possible to use active directory group policies to lock down other aspects of desktops but allow background to be changed. However I wonder if this is a common practice. Is it hard to do?

Will allowing background pictures to be changed alone make most people happy? I like to hear your thoughts.