Feeds

Honey, I shrunk the workstation … into a Chromebook

VMware teams with Google and NVIDIA to bring plenty o' pixels into

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

VMworld 2014 VMware, Google and Nvidia have teamed up with a plan to bring the most demanding desktop apps to relatively piddly Chromebooks.

VMware already has relationships with the other two companies mentioned above. The pact with Google sees it offer the BLAST client to pipe apps from Horizon View into Chromebooks. The Nvidia relationship sees that company's vGPU kit used to virtualize GPUs and parcel out their power to virtual desktops, the better to deliver things like CAD apps to virtual dekstops.

The new deal combines all of those elements so that graphically rich apps will work on Chromebooks.

Or at least Chromebooks like the Acer Chromebook 13 released in early August for $279. That price buys you the 13.3in laptop and its Tegra K1 CPU, which hums along at 2.1GHz CPU and includes the small matter of a 192-core GPU. A saccharine launch video shows what's possible.

All parties to the deal say a new generation of “VMware BLAST Performance technology” will make this possible, and there are hints that this code will reside at least partly in Chromebooks' firmware.

The VMware/Google/Nvidia triumvirate is also talking up a better experience running Microsoft Office in a virtual desktop, a far more mainstream use case. Nor is this stuff on sale yet: there's an early access program kicking off in Q4.

Is this alliance therefore more than a gimmicky piece of vapourware? Probably. Google and VMware can point to a better VDI experience for any app. NVIDIA can show off the power of the Tegra K1. Google may also have a far better gaming story, for what that is worth.

But let's not get carried away with the idea that architects and animators are about to throw away their Mac Pros or Windows workstations and rush to buy Chromebooks. This alliance will make it possible to take the apps such users love into a mobile device, on the few occasions they can tear themselves away from their banks of monitors. Doing any meaningful work on a Chromebook's smaller screen isn't likely to happen. Chromeboxes? Watch this space, if the back-end kit required to make this work comes in cheaper than workstations. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Just don't blame Bono! Apple iTunes music sales PLUMMET
Cupertino revenue hit by cheapo downloads, says report
The DRUGSTORES DON'T WORK, CVS makes IT WORSE ... for Apple Pay
Goog Wallet apparently also spurned in NFC lockdown
Hey - who wants 4.8 TERABYTES almost AS FAST AS MEMORY?
China's Memblaze says they've got it in PCIe. Yow
Cray-cray Met Office spaffs £97m on VERY AVERAGE HPC box
Only 250th most powerful in the world? Bring back Michael Fish
IBM, backing away from hardware? NEVER!
Don't be so sure, so-surers
Microsoft brings the CLOUD that GOES ON FOREVER
Sky's the limit with unrestricted space in the cloud
'ANYTHING BUT STABLE' Netflix suffers BIG Europe-wide outage
Friday night LIVE? Nope. The only thing streaming are tears down my face
Google roolz! Nest buys Revolv, KILLS new sales of home hub
Take my temperature, I'm feeling a little bit dizzy
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
New hybrid storage solutions
Tackling data challenges through emerging hybrid storage solutions that enable optimum database performance whilst managing costs and increasingly large data stores.
Website security in corporate America
Find out how you rank among other IT managers testing your website's vulnerabilities.