Desktop Linux users beware: the boss thinks you need to be managed

VMware reveals VDI for Linux desktops plan, plus China lab to do the development


Desktop Linux users beware: IT has noticed you and decided it's time you were properly managed.

So says VMware, which yesterday at its vForum event in China let it be know that it will deliver a desktop virtualisation (VDI) solution for Linux desktops.

Virtzilla says it hasn't bothered doing so before now because so few people use Linux on the desktop at work, and those that do are self-sufficient so IT leaves them to their own devices.

But VMware says its customers now realise that in this highly-regulated age of the megabreach, unmanaged Linux desktops probably aren't tenable. It therefore plans to take the bits of its Desktone desktop-as-a-service service – which already handles Linux desktops – and build an on-premises equivalent.

Intriguingly, the product will be developed in China where VMware has just opened a new lab and this week promised "a US$1billion investment over the next five years to be dedicated to market development and innovation specifically in China."

China's no friend to Microsoft these days, so this could be a way to make VDI more relevant in the middle kingdom. VMware might just have an eye on other matters, too, as its post announcing the project says “The mobile-cloud era promises a device agnostic and operating system agnostic world where content can be accessed from anywhere, and we are moving another step closer to realizing this promise for our customers with this future solution.”

That's a fair comment: a Linux desktop with an HTML5 browser can do just about anything required by a great many end users. If VMware can make Linux desktops more manageable, it'll be helping a lot more folks than those already using Linux on the desktop. Virtzilla will also gain a an interesting way to pitch VDI as a way to do desktop upgrades without Windows licences.

Don't wait up late for the VDI product: VMware says is “is expected in 2015”. Which means that, yet again, next year is the year of Linux on the desktop. ®

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