ViewSonic Partners With Userful

Visual display vendor ViewSonic has been working with Userful, a pioneering developer of desktop virtualization software, to bring a budget solution to the virtual desktop market, the companies told CRN Thursday.

The latest partnership between the Brea, Calif.-based monitor maker and the Canadian software developer will culminate in an entry-level VDI product that runs entirely on a local network, according to Mike Holstein, VP of business development of emerging technologies at ViewSonic.

"What we're wanting to target with this new product launch is those customers who are very, very cost conscious and typically have a limited budget and not a lot of IT and technical resources to go off and implement more traditional VDI solutions," Holstein told CRN.

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Userful has a decade of experience with the economy end of the virtual desktop market and over a million seats deployed around the world.

"It made an excellent fit for ViewSonic as we targeted this VDI space to match our hardware and their software," Holstein said.

The name, hardware specs and technical makeup of the product under development will be revealed in November. It will ship with a CD that installs on a local server the Userful multi-platform software, which includes a hypervisor and with client LAN adapters that plug into VGA or DVI ports on all monitors.

The end users can choose to run Linux, Windows or Chrome virtual desktops.

"It's very flexible. Today's VDI solutions are pretty complicated even to build the environment. We've simplified that significantly in that it's all done from a single CD. You don't need an experienced IT person," Holstein said.

And like other ViewSonic products, the VDI will sell exclusively through the channel.

"This is a great opportunity for a number of our resellers to sell VDI solutions," Holstein said. "Given that it is an entry-level product, it reduces a lot of complexities they might otherwise have. We believe there will be opportunities for them in education, call centers, libraries, hospitality, anywhere where there's a lot of PCs and desktops."