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VMware Releases View 4

VMware is making a determined bid to get a grasp on the desktop virtualization market before competitors Microsoft and Citrix Systems can bring to bear their combined desktop expertise and entrenched advantages. The result is VMware View 4 announced Monday and generally available Nov. 19 for desktop virtualization.

View 4 invokes a new version of Canadian startup Teradici's PCoIP protocol for PC display over IP networks. From a central server, View 4 can detect the end users network connection, whether a local or wide area network, then deliver a rich, multi-media display to the virtualized desktop.

PcoIP helps VMware overcome the latency that's been inherent in running desktops from virtual machines on central servers. The connection path has to be optimized for user content through the PCoIP protocol in order to give the end user an experience comparable to running his own machine.

Partrick Harr, VP of enterprise desktop marketing, said View 4 reduces the initial capital expense of desktop virtualization, which has been a stumbling block to adoption in the past. It has cost twice as much in capital expense to set up central virtualized servers with desktops and feed displays to end users as it did to simply equip end users with their own machines, he conceded. VMware hasn't cited such a figure in the past. With View 4, the virtualized desktop capital expense has been reduced to a match for the cost of a personal computer, Harr said in an interview.

Much of the gain comes from the greater ability of modern servers to run virtual machines. The reduction in cost is based. in part, on an estimate that the modern virtualized server, such as ones based onIntel (NSDQ: INTC) Nehalem chips, will be able to run twice as many virtual desktop machines as before.

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