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VMware's focus on View isn't new; its View 5 release last August added a raft of improvements, including integration with unified communications products from Cisco, Avaya and Mitel; View Media Services, a set of features that includes 3D graphics support for Windows 7 Aero and Office 2010; support for 3D applications that use DirectX and OpenGL; and client-side caching and other PCoIP optimization controls.
With the View 5.1 release, however, VMware is stepping up its "post-PC era" rhetoric and offering more insight into how it plans to take advantage of it. VMware executives often use the term to describe how mobile devices, virtualization and SaaS apps are combining to diminish the importance of the physical PC.
"The predictable and standardized PC-centric model of IT is now obsolete as IT is overrun with the diversity of devices, [operating systems] and applications," VMware says in the document.
Yet VMware is also aware that most of its customers aren't ready to cut ties with their Windows infrastructure. So the first step in its end-user computing strategy is to position View 5.1, and its ThinApp application virtualization product, as a way for customers to lower their total cost of ownership for Windows PCs and apps.
"Windows environments will have a long tail and the opportunity to optimize and better secure this environment is great," VMware says in the document.
The next step in VMware's strategy is for customers to embrace cloud computing, and the company's Horizon App Manager service plays a major role here. It detects Active Directory, or any LDAP-compliant service, and pushes it into the cloud where it can be used with Salesforce.com, Google Apps, and other third-party public cloud apps, with user passwords remaining safely behind the firewall.
VMware is planning to launch an on premise version of Horizon App Manager on June 15, according to the document. Horizon App Manager is a key component of VMware Horizon, VMware's identity-as-a-service hub that aims to tackle the IT challenges posed by mobile devices and SaaS apps.
The final piece of VMware's end-user computing visions hinges on social SaaS apps like Zimbra, Socialcast, and Sliderocket, which VMware is positioning as alternatives to Windows apps. Other key parts include AppBlast, VMware's technology for delivering Windows and other apps to Web browsers and device supporting HTML 5, and Project Octopus, the cloud storage service VMware has been calling "Dropbox for the enterprise."