Azure becomes double DaaS-aster zone as VMware loads up

Microsoft's weird DaaS licensing melts away when it has a sniff of Azure usage

VMware's got the green light to deliver virtual Windows desktops and packaged apps from Microsoft's Azure cloud.

Citrix is already there, having revealed its efforts back in March 2017. But VMware thinks its Horizon software can do a little better by offering a single control plane capable of managing virtual desktops across multiple platforms, be they on-premises or in different clouds. VMware already has a DaaS arrangement with Bluemix, so is offering the prospect of one console in which to keep a steady hand on lots of virtual desktops even if they're scattered around the globe.

Virtzilla also reckons it has licensing nailed, so you'll be able to run virtual desktops in different bit barns without falling foul of Microsoft's Licensing Corps.

VMware's offering will include the chance to run Windows 10 desktops and the company feels that doing so might catch the eye of those plotting migrations from earlier versions of Windows on ye olde phyſikal desktoppes.

As is often the case with virtual desktops, the education and financial services industries are expected to be the most enthusiastic shoppers as both have good reasons not to leave hardware in users' hands (kids make messes, finance types need to be corralled). VMware will also court those who like to spin up temporary desktops for seasonal workers, or those who for whatever reason need to give third parties like suppliers a desktop that links to their applications.

Allowing both VMware and Citrix to offer DaaS from Azure is a shift of sorts for Microsoft, which has previously been hostile to virtual desktops unless service providers ran them on dedicated hardware and preserved that policy once Windows 10 came along. A small change later saw that regime relaxed to allow a single Windows licence to move across multiple devices, but Microsoft continues to play hardball by forcing Amazon Web Services' Workspaces DaaS to run Windows Server 2008r2 re-skinned with a Windows 7 interface.

So why allow two VDI providers access to Azure and let them run full Windows 10 desktops?

The answer is simple: Microsoft's mission these days is getting people to sign up for Azure. Anything that drives Azure revenue is now tolerable. Even things that Redmond denies its precious partner community.

In other VMware news, the company has acquired an outfit called of Apteligent that offers “mobile application performance and engagement insights.” The acquisition will be folded into Realize Operations and VMware's forthcoming Cross-Cloud services to add more application monitoring features. Virtzilla has also teamed with Samsung, linking to its ARTIK Smart IOT platform to assist with thing-wrangling. ®

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