VMware releases revamped desktop software

VMware has released new software aimed at providing desktop and application virtualization, as well as management of virtual desktops, in one product.

VMware has released VMware View 3, new software aimed at providing desktop virtualization, application virtualization and management of virtual desktops in one product.

VMware View is a reworking of the company's VMware Desktop Infrastructure product that adds other components to solve the problem of managing virtualized desktop environments, said Raj Mallempati, a group product manager of desktop products for VMware.

VMware View is part of an initiative that VMware is calling vClient, which it unveiled at its VMworld conference in September. Mallempati said with the vClient strategy, VMware hopes to solve the "desktop dilemma" of not only virtualizing applications and desktops, but also managing and deploying those environments.

"At the end of the day, we also want to make sure we can provide end-users with a virtualized view of their desktops, applications and data," he said.

In addition to providing desktop virtualization, VMware View 3 includes View Composer, a new product that creates virtual desktops from a master image; VMware ThinApp, which simplifies application packaging and deployment to a virtual desktop environment; and Offline Desktop, which provides the ability to move virtual desktops between the data center and a local laptop or desktop. The product also includes Unified Access, which provides desktop administrators a single management platform for virtual desktops and applications.

VMware View 3 comes in an Enterprise Edition and a Premier Edition. The Enterprise Edition includes VMware Infrastructure Enterprise Edition, VMware View Manager 3 and Unified Access, and it costs US$150 per concurrent user for a perpetual user license. The Premier Edition includes those products but adds VMware View Manager 3, VMware ThinApp, VMware View Composer and Offline Desktop. It costs $250 per concurrent user for a perpetual license.

As virtualization of server OSes becomes more common, both VMware, which remains the leader in the virtualization software market, and other vendors are expanding their offerings to tackle the problem of virtualization desktops and applications that run on desktop computers.

Even though VMware remains the leader in virtualization across the board, the company has had a bumpy year in which it's faced its stiffest competition to date. Vendors such as Microsoft are building virtualization directly into their server OSes and also branching out into desktop and application virtualization. And in July, the company had a major executive shake-up, with CEO Diane Greene leaving suddenly to be replaced by former Microsoft executive Paul Maritz.

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