VMware touts open source desktop virtualization

VMware View Open Client enables IT to host and manage user desktops in the datacenter, and lets partners use the source code to tailor and optimize devices for creating virtual desktop solutions.

VMware this week announced VMware View Open Client and claimed that it advances its vClient Initiative toward universal clients.

The new software, available under the GNU Lesser GPL 2.1, enables IT to host and manage user desktops in the datacenter, and lets partners use the source code to tailor and optimize devices for creating virtual desktop solutions, the company said.

VMware View Open Client features secure tunneling via SSL, two-factor authentication in the form of RSA SecurID, Novell SLETC Add-on RPM package, and a command-line interface.

Analyst house Gartner predicts that by 2013, companies will purchase some 50 million user licenses for hosted virtual desktops and that about 40 percent of user devices will be thin clients within hosted virtual desktop environments.

Offering further evidence that virtualization is increasing on the desktop, Citrix Systems last week invested in startup Virtual Computer, which makes NxTop software for provisioning, publishing, and patching desktop and laptop operating systems.

And a trio of vendors are set to announce on Wednesday what they claim is the world's largest desktop virtualization deployment. Userful, ThinNetworks, and Positivo will detail a deal under which they'll create 324,000 virtualized desktops for schools in Brazil, a move the companies claim will turn single PCs into 10 individual workstations and, in so doing, save the Brazilian government $47 million in upfront costs, $9 million in power expenses, and reduce annual CO2 emissions by 140,000 tons.

Jocelyn Goldfein, vice president and general manager of VMware's Desktop Business Unit, explained in a statement that VMware View Open Client "brings us closer to our Universal Client vision, where users can securely and efficiently access rich personalized desktop environments, from any device at any time."

The company said that the source code distribution for its latest offering is available at the VMware View Open Client community.

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