SAN FRANCISCO – To the surprise of many of the 4,000 plus solution providers in attendance at the Partner Exchange conference, VMware Inc. announced a strategic alliance with search engine king Google.
The aim of the partnership is to modernize corporate desktops for the mobile cloud and the channel will be looked upon to provide the security and cloud access on Google Chromebooks.
In essence, however, this alliance is a direct threat to Microsoft and Windows as the two will work collaboratively to provide cloud access to Windows applications along with data in a desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) environment. VMware and Google are interested in the enterprise customer space initially with this partnership and have indicated that DaaS on Chromebooks will provide lower total cost of ownership to the tune of $5,000 per computer when compared to a traditional Windows PC.
Sanjay Poonen, executive vice president and GM for VMware’s End-User Computing group, said VMware will expand to one product for virtual desktop and app development, run as-a-service with back up from VSan.
“This is a huge opportunity in the desktop area. There is a tremendous growth opportunity here. On the one hand this drives innovation and on the second hand it lower cost. The mobile cloud and security will make DaaS a boardroom discussions that will be relevant to CIOs and CEOs,” Poonen said.
Another aspect of this strategic alliance is that VMware’s Horizon DaaS will be offered in two ways, in a virtual desktop infrastructure or as a remote desktop service connection.
The plan is to have a fully managed, subscription DaaS offering by VMware and other vCloud service provider partners in the channel ecosystem deploy it in either a cloud or within hybrid cloud.
Horizon DaaS can access popular Windows applications such as Office and data using VMware’s Blast HTML5 technology from a Web-based application catalogue on Chromebooks.
Caesar Sengupta, the vice president of Chrome at Google, said the Horizon view on a Google Chromebook will offer corporations a Windows desktops at a fraction of the traditional PC cost.
“This is an amazing time in the industry because businesses are asking themselves do we want to live with the same way as we have for the past 30 years or embrace the cloud,” Sengupta said.
He added that the cloud is safe and easier to manage that in previous years and Horizon can transition business from XP, while providing a new business opportunity for the channel.
The timing of the Google/VMware announcement is also important because it came just a few months ahead of Microsoft’s imposed deadline for ending support for the Windows XP operating system on April 8, 2014.