VMware buys SlideRocket to boost end-user computing

VMware continues to expand beyond virtualization with cloud acquisition

VMware, long the king of virtualization in the data center, is trying to make headway with users who may have never deployed a virtual server or even heard of a hypervisor.  

VMware's acquisition today of SlideRocket, an online service for creating presentations, pushes the company further into cloud-based services and applications for everyday business users. An online presentation tool seems really far afield for VMware, which has always focused on core IT infrastructure. Before today, VMware tools for end users have usally been tied to back-end services related to VMware's expertise. That would include the VMware View virtual destkop client for Apple's iPad

But VMware said the company has to think about more than IT users, and presentation software is a natural place to start, being "second only to email as the most widely used business software." 

"The cloud is about much more than just making the IT department's life easier," VMware CTO Steve Herrod blogged. "End-users deserve to reap the benefit of the cloud as well, and 'your cloud' is focused on delivering these to both IT and end-users in a very personalized way." 

SlideRocket also gives VMware a competitor against Microsoft's PowerPoint. Herrod slyly referred to Microsoft without using its name, saying presentations are "still based on 25-year-old technology."

If you want to read up on the VMware/SlideRocket deal, check out Herrod's blog, the VMware press release, and SlideRocket CEO Chuck Dietrich's take.  

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Copyright © 2011 IDG Communications, Inc.