VMware gets into apps with Bluetooth-pinging COVID-safe-office tools

And expands its Horizons VDI into new clouds

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VMware has revealed plans to become an application vendor of sorts, with make-your-office-safe-ware that complements its other end-user compute products.

The company today said it now plans "a suite of new workplace solutions" that will "help VMware customers enable office experiences of the future".

The future VMware has in mind is whenever you start to bring more people back to your offices, as its first two solutions are a Bluetooth beacon-wrangler called "Workspace ONE Proximity" that "will give employees insight into potential exposure, notify colleagues of changing conditions, and help recount whereabouts and interactions within an office."

The other is "Workspace ONE Campus", which will "support desk and meeting room booking, and wayfinding, further elevating the future workplace experience."

Both apps runs on iOS or Android and are intended to do things like ensuring meeting rooms can only be booked by a number of people consistent with maintaining social distancing, contact-tracing in the event of a positive COVID test in the workplace and then figuring out which rooms an infected person visited so that cleaners know where to pour out the barrels of disinfectant. VMware looks to be thinking beyond the pandemic, too, as the apps can also serve as digital badges to allow entry to buildings or acquire items from kiosks.

The "workplace solutions", as VMware styles the apps, run alongside its Workspace ONE end-user compute platform that is mostly concerned with publishing applications to any device.

Workspace ONE is often deployed with VMware's Horizon VDI suite, which has been upgraded to a new version 8.0.

Horizon is now in version eight and the big inclusion is instant deployment of cloned VMs without the need for a parent VM being present. The result is a little less pressure on host resources and faster deployment.

Penguinistas will appreciate that Linux apps can now be published to Horizon without requiring a server running a non-Linux OS. VMware has also figured out how to make Microsoft Teams behave under Horizon.

Horizon is also now certified to run on Google Cloud's VMware Engine and VMware Cloud on Dell EMC. Once Microsoft gets its VMware-on-Azure rig running, Horizon will rise there too. Which will mean Azure can run Windows Virtual Desktops, Citrix VDI, Horizon-on-Azure and Horizon-on-VMware-on-Azure.

VMware users contemplating cloud have another option to ponder, too, as Oracle's VMware-powered cloud went live on Thursday. Big Red is keen to point out that it has set things up so it will not have customers' root credentials, in contrast to other VMware-on-hyperscale services. Oracle will also run its VMware offering in its new Cloud@Customer on-prem clouds and can offer up to 64 hosts, a number it says greatly exceeds the number offered by AWS or Azure. ®

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