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Google Chromebooks Get The VMware Thin-Client Treatment

By - Source: Toms IT Pro

VMware and Google announced a collaboration involving VMware's desktop as a service (DaaS) platform and Chromebook devices at the VMware Partner Exchange 2014. The goal of the collaboration is to increase the cost effectiveness of Google Chromebooks used as business thin clients.

VMware's DaaS service is a cloud desktop virtualization platform allowing management of Windows desktops and apps, among other things. "VMware DaaS and desktop virtualization will enable Windows-based applications and desktops to run on Google Chromebooks, delivering on the promise of the Mobile-Cloud Era without compromise," says Sanjay Poonen, executive vice president and general manager of End-User Computing at VMware. Both legacy and current Windows applications will be supported.

According to a Gartner analysis, just over 200 million ultramobile devices were shipped worldwide in 2013 and 270 million are predicted to ship in 2014. In contrast, the 300 million PC shipments of 2013 are predicted to decline to just under 290 million. However, shipment trends do not necessarily speak to ultrathin client usage.

According to an NPD Group study, Chromebooks make up 21% of all notebooks in the distributor and commercial reseller market. Forbes contributor Ewan Spence points out that the Chrome OS browser usage does not reflect the expected usage with so many units being sold.

"Tepid Windows PC sales allowed brands with a focus on alternative form factors or operating systems, like Apple and Samsung, to capture significant share of a market traditionally dominated by Windows devices," says Stephen Baker, vice president of industry analysis at NPD. "However, as businesses upgrade from older machines and operating systems in the year ahead, the long-term trend is clearly towards greater hardware diversity, which all manufacturers will need to embrace in order to continue to grow."

VMware and Google seem to be doing just that. This could provide Chromebooks with the utility options needed for the growing mobile cloud consumer base.

VMware is currently only offering the desktop service as an on-premises solution using VMware Horizon View. A date for the full subscription-based cloud service has not been specified.