My Take on the Recent VMware and Google Announcement
At the recent VMware Partner Exchange event, VMware and Google announced an “expanded relationship” to deliver Windows desktops to Google Chromebooks using VMware’s Blast HTML5 technology. This announcement gave me a distinct feeling of déjà vu: way back in 2011, when Google first introduced the Chromebook, they had Citrix on stage demoing access to Windows applications using an HTML5 client. Later that year, at the Google Atmosphere event, Google themselves demoed Ericom AccessNow on center state – here is a video of that demonstration . Given that the recent announcement did not include exclusivity, it appears that Google is simply giving a nod to the latest company to support remote access via HTML5.
VMware’s Cloud and DaaS announcements in the same press release are also nothing new. Ericom’s DaaS partners, such as nGenx, have been offering access to Cloud hosted desktops from Chromebooks for years: here is the nGenx announcement from 2012 . Even Desktone, the company purchased by VMware to form the basis of their DaaS offering, was an Ericom partner, and utilized Ericom technology for this exact purpose – see this announcement on Desktone’s own website . This announcement even explicitly mentions Google Chromebooks! Moreover here is a video of a Desktone engineer demoing AccessNow on a Chromebook back in 2011 ! It’s worth noting that the new VMware/Desktone offering is still months away.
In fact, VMware will be offering less than Ericom has been providing for three years: VMware Horizon View and VMware Blast only provide access to complete Windows desktops. Ericom AccessNow, on the other hand, provides access to both Windows desktops, and to specific applications (as shown in both the Google and Desktone videos),. This is a crucial feature since most Chromebook users don’t want to be forced to use a second Windows desktop on top of their ChromeOS desktop, just to access their Windows applications.
Given all this, I can only conclude that the recent VMware and Google announcement is just good PR. That’s perfectly OK, but let's not make it more than it really is.