VMware and Google are taking aim at corporate laptops with a new partnership that delivers access to Windows applications on Google's Chromebook computers, touting it as one way to avoid issues with the Windows XP cut-off deadline.
Announced at VMware's Partner Exchange 2014, the move sees Google's Chromebooks supported as an endpoint for VMware's Horizon View virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) platform. Chromebook users will be able to access Windows applications, data and desktops from a web-based application catalogue using VMware's Blast technology, which can serve up a remote screen onto any HTML5-compliant device.
The joint solution is available now to VMware customers that have deployed Horizon View 5.3, and is delivered from their on-premise private cloud infrastructure. However, VMware said it intends to enable this capability to be delivered as a fully managed desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) subscription offered through its vCloud public cloud initiative.
Writing on VMware's blog, vice president of Desktop Products Sumit Dhawan said Google and his own company are working together to modernise corporate desktops for the mobile and cloud era.
"Together we can enable users to use Google Chromebooks and Google Chromebox to access all their corporate content from the cloud, including a full Windows desktop and applications delivered from private cloud or public cloud via the VMware Horizon DaaS platform," he said.
"This means customers can truly adopt the mobile cloud using cloud-based devices for users with no endpoint management and cloud-based services including Windows desktops and apps."
According to Google, many organisations are now starting to consider Chromebooks because of their low cost and appliance-like nature.
"Customers prefer the low total cost of ownership, the central web-based management console and the fact that they don't need any additional security or antivirus software," said Rajen Sheth, Google's director of product management for Chrome, writing on the firm's official Enterprise Blog.
Sheth added the partnership could also be of benefit to firms facing XP migration woes: "As the countdown to Windows XP end of life continues, deploying Chromebooks and taking advantage of a DaaS environment ensures that security vulnerabilities, application compatibility and migration budgets will be a thing of the past," he said.
XP support ends on 8 April with Microsoft urging firms to move form the ageing platform, although many are unprepared for this change, with the NHS admitting on Wednesday it is negotiating with Microsoft for custom support.
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