VMware, Google Teaming Up To Let Windows Apps Run On Chromebooks

VMware and Google are teaming up to let Windows apps, data and desktops run on Chromebooks for the first time, using a jointly developed technology they're pitching as a cost-effective option for Windows XP migrations.

Unveiled Wednesday, the technology marries VMware's View desktop virtualization software with Google Chromebooks, with access to Windows apps enabled by VMware's Blast HTML5 technology.

This shows how VMware is the lone "Switzerlandlike company" out there that's able to seamlessly deliver apps to all of the devices enterprises are using today, Sanjay Poonen, executive vice president of end-user computing at VMware, said Wednesday at VMware's Partner Exchange conference in San Francisco.

[Related: VMware Execs: Some Of Our Storage Partners Are Now Competitors ]

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Joining Poonen onstage was Caesar Sengupta, vice president of Chrome at Google, who described VMware's technology as a "fantastic fit" for organizations that want to move to the cloud but need to keep using their legacy Windows apps, including ones developed for Windows XP.

With Microsoft cutting off support and security patches for Windows XP on April 8, organizations can switch to using Chromebooks and VMware DaaS to avoid the risks of security vulnerabilities and application incompatibility, according to Sengupta. And since migrating from XP means buying new PCs, organizations may find Chromebooks to be a more economically sensible option.

Chromebooks gained serious momentum in 2013; the top 8 OEMs are now selling them, and they accounted for one of four laptops sold in the education market last year, Sengupta said. "The way people use computers is changing," he said at VMware Partner Exchange. "People want simple, fast, mobile and easy to manage."

For now, the VMware-Google is available as an on-premise service, but VMware says it'll eventually be sold as a "fully managed, subscription desktop-as-a-service offering by VMware and other vCloud Service Provider Partners."

VMware also revealed a desktop virtualization partnership with F5, in which View will be optimized to work with F5's BIG-IP Access Policy Manager application performance management software.