VMware Steps Up Competition For The Virtual Desktop

Desktop virtualization is a disruptive force to Windows and traditional forms of desktop applications, says VMware.
The boldness of the claims drew a public retort from Microsoft, which took out a full page ad in USA Today on Aug. 31 to urge its customers to not sign three-year licenses with VMware. Instead they should consider instead getting their applications and virtual machine needs met through the Microsoft virtualization product line and Azure cloud services. "We already do what VMware says it's going to do," scoffed Mike Neil, general manager of Microsoft virtualization, in an interview at VMworld.

The ad drew a direct response from VMware CEO Paul Maritz in a press conference after he gave the VMworld keynote address Tuesday. "I consider it the sincerest form of flattery," he said.

VMware's desktop virtualization moves include:

-- Enhanced delivery of video and multimedia via LAN or WAN to virtualized desktops using VMware's PC-over-IP protocol. The protocol leverages the processing capabilities of the end user's device.

-- Simplified desktop configuration, provisioning, and management through View's central administrative interface.

-- Stronger security and controls over virtual desktops through the application of VMware Shield Endpoint, a security product meant to guard virtual desktops from viruses, intruders, and other malware, in conjunction with additional third-party products making use of a shared security API.

-- ThinApps enhanced with the ability to encapsulate an application so it can be updated, patched, or managed independently from its operating system. ThinApps 4.6 can be used to migrate applications to Windows 7 without requiring the application to be modified for Windows 7. It may continue to run in a virtual machine under Windows XP or Vista.

-- The Zimbra appliance or virtual machine now runs on the vSphere 4 platform. VMware purchased e-mail supplier Zimbra from Yahoo in January. Zimbra offers ease of administration, whether installed on premises or in a public cloud, Viarengo claimed.

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