VMware is perhaps best known today for its VMware ESX server virtualization technology. It is what has helped VMware become synonymous with the virtual datacenter. But 10 years ago the company was probably regarded as a desktop virtualization company. VMware ESX was still in alpha back then, and it wasn't until a year or so later, with the 1.5 release, that the ESX product had any real legs under it. The company's Workstation product, on the other hand, was doing quite well; for many, this is where we got our start with the concept of virtualizing on an x86 machine.
VMware still has a number of products for the desktop platform. Workstation, which installs and operates on top of a Linux or Windows operating system, is around and doing quite well, and it's often used as a proving ground for new technologies making their way up to the server-class products. VMware also introduced a popular sister product for the Mac OS called Fusion, and the company has other products, like Player and ACE, as well as a VDI broker technology now called VMware View. VMware branched out into the application virtualization market with its acquisition of Thinstall (the product is now called VMware ThinApp), but even with all of these other technologies, VMware ESX and vSphere are still the dominant topics of discussion.
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But perhaps VMware is now ready to start focusing more on the desktop market while it continues to push forward with its virtual datacenter and cloud story. Where is it planning on taking the desktop? To answer that, we look to Scott Davis, the new CTO of the Desktop Business Unit at VMware. Davis was previously the chief datacenter architect in VMware's CTO office, and before that, some of you may remember him in the day when he was the president, CTO, and founder of Virtual Iron Software, now acquired by Oracle.