VMware and Google offer enterprise Windows XP upgrade lifeline

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VMware has teamed up with search giant Google to provide enterprise users with access to legacy Windows applications and desktops using Chromebooks.

The setup will rely on the virtualisation firm's Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) platform, and will give users access to Windows apps via a web-based catalogue on the Chromebook.

In a statement, announcing the technology tie-up, Google claimed the setup should provide enterprises with a lower cost and more secure way of accessing legacy Windows applications.

Amit Singh, president of Google Enterprise, said that Google Chromebooks can save businesses "about $5,000 per computer" when compared to traditional PCs.

"Through our partnership with VMware, businesses can now capitalise on these advantages with access to legacy applications, data and desktops they need to keep employees productive," Singh explained.

In a further blog post, Rajen Sheth, director of product management for Chrome at Google, said the partnership could also make life easier for IT directors grappling with Windows XP migrations.

"As the countdown to Windows XP end of life continues, deploying Chromebooks and taking advantage of a DaaS environment ensures that security vulnerabilities, application compatibility and migration budgets will be a thing of the past," Sheth explained.

The offering will be initially offered to enterprise users as an on-premise service, VMware confirmed. In time it will eventually be offered by VMware and its troop of partners as a fully managed, subscription-based offering in the cloud.

Sanjay Poonen, executive vice president and general manager of VMware's end user computing division, said its partnership with Google should provide enterprises with a wider choice of desktop environments.

"VMware DaaS and desktop virtualisation will enable Windows-based applications and desktops to run on Google Chromebooks, delivering on the promise of the mobile-cloud Era without compromise," Poonen added.

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.