VMware edges towards open source desktop virtualisation

New product is available under GNU licence, allows partners to optimise devices

VMware has announced VMware View Open Client, claiming that the move advances its vClient Initiative towards universal clients.

The new software, available under the GNU Lesser GPL 2.1, enables IT departments to host and manage user desktops in the datacentre, and lets partners use the source code to tailor and optimise devices for creating virtual desktop solutions.

VMware View Open Client features secure tunneling via SSL, two-factor authentication in the form of RSA SecurID, Novell SLETC Add-on RPM package, and a command-line interface.

Analyst firm Gartner predicts that by 2013, companies will purchase some 50 million user licences for hosted virtual desktops and that about 40% of user devices will be thin clients within hosted virtual desktop environments.

Offering further evidence that virtualisation is increasing on the desktop, Citrix last week invested in start-up Virtual Computer, which makes NxTop software for provisioning, publishing and patching desktop and laptop operating systems.

Also, a trio of vendors were to announce today US time what they claim is the world's largest desktop virtualisation deployment. Userful, ThinNetworks and Positivo will detail a deal under which they'll create 324,000 virtualised desktops for schools in Brazil, a move the companies claim will turn single PCs into 10 individual workstations and, in so doing, save the Brazilian government US$47 million (NZ$92 million) in upfront costs, US$9 million in power expenses, and reduce annual CO2 emissions by 140,000 tons.

Jocelyn Goldfein, vice president and general manager of VMware's Desktop Business Unit, said in a statement that VMware View Open Client "brings us closer to our Universal Client vision, where users can securely and efficiently access rich personalised desktop environments, from any device at any time".

The company said that the source code distribution for its latest offering is available at the  VMware View Open Client community.

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Tags VMwaregnuvmware view open client

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