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VMware turns Thinstall into ThinApp

Probably didn't get the name from Thinair

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VMware is done digesting the application virtualization startup, Thinstall, and will be rebranding the product under a suspiciously analogous name: ThinApp.

The company said its debut in app encapsulation will be ready within the next 30 days.

VMware's ThinApp follows on the tails of Citrix and its own rival suite, XenApp.

What — what? XenApp versus ThinApp? Isn't that a just a terribly convenient way to draw attention to the products' similarities. Why a cynic might even go so far to say it's intentional.

But still, VMware's turnaround of ThinApp was relatively short. At least the company appears still somewhat light on its feet despite the swelling post-IPO.

The general availability release of ThinApp 4.0 will include new toys such as dynamic linking between self-contained applications and over-the-wire app updates via HTTP/HTTPs.

VMware's enterprise desktop boss Jerry Chen said that having each virtualized application isolated in a separate container is good for security and mobility — but it makes communication between two applications difficult.

For instance, take Microsoft Word and PowerPoint: two programs commonly used together. In order to cooperate previously, they would have needed to be contained in a single uber container. Application Link lets the apps make nice in the isolation of their individual bubbles.

The other major update is Application Sync. It streams byte-level updates to users' virtualized applications using HTTP/HTTPS. That goes for both managed and non-managed PCs running virtualized apps.

Right now the beta 2 release of ThinApp (going by the alias North Star) is available on VMware's website here.

Thirty or so days from now VMware will be selling ThinApp for $39 per endpoint. But the software first requires a copy of VMware Workstation (which comes with 50 client licenses) for $5,000.

Virtual Desktop Manager 2.1

VMware also recently updated its connection broker product Virtual Desktop Manager (VDM) to version 2.1.

The refresh includes the ability to run up to 5,000 concurrent connections per cluster of VDM servers. It also offers a multimedia redirection tool for XP desktops, which moves certain codecs to the local PC for rendering video and audio rather than make the server handle the load.

VDM 2.1 was released last week, and is available now. ®

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