VMware’s busy end user computing division just got a Google-sized bump

Google Chromebooks will now supports Windows apps, thanks to VMware’s desktop as a service

VMware may be best known as the virtualization company, but it's trying hard to expand out beyond just compute virtualization. It wants to be the company that virtualizes the network, mobile devices and desktops too.

The company's strategy for doing so got a big boost this week when it announced a partnership for Google Chromebooks to support VMware's Horizon desktop as a service, which is powered by technology VMware acquired from DaaS leader Desktone.

Read more about the Google-VMware partnership here

It's a win-win for both companies. Google Chromebooks gets much-needed support for traditional applications that users run on their computers, as opposed to the cloud-only applications previously supported. VMware is perhaps the bigger winner here with their DaaS offering being blessed by the all-mighty Google.

The move adds to the busy past few quarters for VMware, and especially its end-user computing division. VMware scooped up SAP mobile guru Sanjay Poonen to run the division in the middle of last year. Earlier this year the group made the largest purchase in VMware history by spending what could amount to up to $1.3 billion on device management company AirWatch (read why VMware dropped that much on the company here), a mobile. It bought Desktone last fall and now months later it has inked a major deal with Google.

This is all happening as the company's SDN platform, NSX, powered by technology it bought from Nicira is the talk of the networking community, along with a competing platform from Cisco and a host of startups.

VMware is no longer just the ESX company. 

Senior Writer Brandon Butler covers cloud computing for Network World and NetworkWorld.com. He can be reached at BButler@nww.com and found on Twitter at @BButlerNWW.

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