From the “you never thought you’d live to see the day” files, VMware this morning announced that it has signed a deal with Google to allow Chromebooks to run legacy applications via Desktop as a Service (DaaS). Now I have to say from the outset that I’m not a huge fan of DaaS, it seems a sub-optimal way of taking an interim step into the future, but this deal sees enterprises keep coverage for their legacy apps, while deploying a low cost, flexible, agile and cloud-first form factor that makes sense for where their future lies. It’s an example of an enterprise being able to “skate to where the puck is going” while at the same time not losing functionality they need today.
And it’s a real win for Google who was struggling to sell the idea of Chromebooks broadly within enterprises. Says Amit Singh, President of Google Enterprise:
Google Chromebooks can save businesses about $5,000 per computer when compared to traditional PCs. Chromebooks are designed for the way people use computers today and are a secure, easy and cost-effective solution to help organizations embrace a new way of doing business. Through our partnership with VMware, businesses can now capitalize on these advantages with access to legacy applications, data and desktops they need to keep employees productive
According to Gartner PC shipments are forecast to decline 15 percent this year from 2012 levels, while ultramobile devices are forecast to increase nearly 407 percent in the same time period – with this deal, enterprises have a logical way of keeping what they do today, and extending it to their new paradigm of operations.
Unfortunately it’s not all awesome, initially this is only available as an on-premise service, which kind of lessens the value here to organizations looking to offload as much responsibility for infrastructure as they can. According to the companies however, a joint solution is expected to be delivered as a subscription-based (and fully managed) DaaS offering by both VMware and its partners, in the cloud or within hybrid deployments.
This is a big announcement and will really help Google get Chromebooks adopted, but more importantly will ease enterprises into a new way of doing things that increases their agility (or at least their ability to be agile).