VMware's 2008 announcement describes the company's forthcoming client virtualization in glowing terms, saying it "runs on laptop and desktop computers and provides a robust layer that tightly manages user devices cost-effectively while providing a PC-like end-user experience. Client virtualization will also provide a centralized management solution to administer, deploy and update applications and operating system images across desktops and laptops."
The 2008 announcement also touted VMware's forthcoming offline desktop technology for accessing server-hosted desktops even when a client device isn't connected to the Internet. Offline Desktop has popped up in VMware View, but only as an "experimental" feature.
VMware will, eventually, compete in the client hypervisor market not only against Citrix, but also start-ups such as Neocleus.
Building a client hypervisor is more complicated than creating server-based technology because of issues with audio, USB devices, Webcams, wireless networking and Bluetooth, Citrix has said.
While client virtualization is an emerging part of the desktop virtualization market, and may not gain widespread adoption for a year or two, VMware's failure to deliver a client hypervisor before its rivals could prove costly.
While VMware has become the virtualization vendor of choice for enterprises on the server side, results in the desktop market have been mixed. According to analysts, more businesses use Citrix's desktop virtualization technology than VMware's, but VMware has more users than Citrix when measured by deployed seats. The market is expected to grow considerably over the next few years and will be a major point of focus for both Citrix and VMware.
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