The VMware announcement comes nearly a full year after Citrix released Receiver for iPad, giving customers access to Windows applications and virtual desktops from their Apple tablets. Parallels also beat VMware to the punch in building an iPad desktop application.
"We believe the right form factor is the tablet," Lee says. "With a 3.5-inch screen, you'd be pinching and zooming all day to do basic things."
VMware promised "instant-on" access to Windows desktops from the iPad, as well as support for Bluetooth keyboards.
Although VMware was late in delivering virtual desktops to the iPad, and has fallen behind Citrix in building a bare-metal client hypervisor, VMware may be ahead of the game in providing hypervisors for smartphones. VMware is building a virtualization system for Android phones that will let the phone run two OS instances, one for business use and one for personal use. LG will provide the first VMware-enabled Android smartphones sometime in 2011.
VMware's most successful business, of course, is building expensive server virtualization products and management software. VMware announced yet another server virtualization management tool this week, vCenter Operations, saying it will simplify management of virtual machines. VCenter Operations is designed to give operations teams visibility into the virtual environment, whereas previous management tools were targeted at infrastructure teams, says VMware's Rob Smoot, director of management product marketing.
Customers may be confused by the sheer number of management tools available from VMware and third-party vendors, but Gartner analyst Chris Wolf says: "That's why vCenter Operations is so important." This product is the first step toward creating a consolidated management platform, he says. "VMware's doing the hard work to build a truly integrated offering, and I expect the result to be a product that is quickly embraced by VMware's install base."
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