Wyse, a market leader in thin clients, is offering Wyse PocketCloud to allow smartphone users to access their PC, a remote desktop, or a virtualized desktop through their mobile phones. The technique appears to be catching on: PocketCloud is one of the top 10 selling Apple iTunes App Store applications for mobile professionals, having been downloaded 110,000 times.
Wyse still makes a thin client operating system and thin client hardware, which continue to produce growing business for the San Jose, Calif. company. But Jeff McNaught, Wyse chief strategy officer, says its fastest growth now is in mobile computing clients. Wyse is using its expertise in handling user presentations on a thin device to get a foothold in cloud computing. Its cloud client is software that includes enough networking and support for specific forms of desktop virtualization to give smartphone users remote entry to their desktops.
Tuesday, Wyse launched PocketCloud for Android-based phones and tablets. PocketCloud has been available for the Apple iPhone and iPod Touch for a year and for the iPad since its introduction earlier this year. Wyse was demonstrating PocketCloud for Android devices at its booth at VMworld yesterday.
The Android PocketCloud makes use of 3G or Wi-Fi networks to connect the end user to a Macintosh, or to Microsoft Windows Home, Windows 7, Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows Remote Desktop Services, and Windows Terminal Services. The Android version works with such devices as the Motorola Droid; the HTC Evo 4G, Hero and Droid Incredible; the T-Mobile G1; and Nexus One.
McNaught said PocketCloud was first adopted by smartphone consumers for accessing entertainment content, but the same users started to generate demand to access files and desktop applications available through a variety of virtualized desktops. Through PocketCloud, remote users can access applications that have been virtualized through VMware View. Once connected to the virtual desktop they can scroll through Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations; enter keyboard commands; or invoke enterprise grade 128-bit encryption.
Wyse's announcement cited Wesley Baker, virtualization architect for Jewelry Television, as saying he was on call much of the time but no longer needed to carry a laptop and find a wireless connection hotspot when he needed to access the data center. "Wyse PocketCloud makes remote access very simple and ties into our VMware View implementation," he said.
VMware View is supported in the paid version of PocketCloud for Android, currently available for $14.99. A free version is also available with reduced multimedia support and functionality. Also supported is the display of virtualized application sessions on Citrix XenApp or Microsoft Remote Desktop Protocol, where applications are virtualized on a central server. Also supported are Citrix XenDesktop and Microsoft Virtual Desktop Infrastructure suites, where whole desktops are virtualized on central servers.
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