Tag Archives | VMware

VMware Launches a Dashboard for Cloud Apps

This is a bit outside of Technologizer’s bread-and-butter coverage, but if I worked in a company of any size I’d be excited about it: Vmware is launching Horizon App Manager, a (mostly) cloud-based service that lets companies manage the cloud-based services. It allows them to set up a dashboard for the folks in the organization that looks a bit like the home screen on an iPhone or Android phone, with icons for Web-based apps used by the company (along with ones for more personal services such as Facebook, if the company desires). The cool part is that it uses technologies such as the OAuth and SAML standards to automate logging into the services; once you’ve signed into App Manager, you can then click through to services without having to log in again. Behind the scenes, it lets IT people do administrative such as like sign large numbers of people up for a cloud service in automated fashion and delete accounts for employees who have left the organization.

I have memories from my days as a worker bee of having no idea how to find or get into services such as ADP’s online portal (shown above). And of discovering that the person who’d set us up with a particular service had left the company before anyone remembered to ask him or her about how to administer it. As a lover of Web services, it’s heartening to see them matter enough that outfits such as VMware are turning their attention to them.

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A Faster VMware Fusion

VMware Fusion–along with Parallels Desktop, one of the two primary ways that folks virtualize Windows into running on Macs--just got an upgrade. The version number is only jumping from 3 to 3.1, but it sounds pretty meaty for a point release: VMware says it’s 35 percent faster (with a particular boost in 3D performance), has better features for migrating a real Windows PC’s OS onto a Mac, handles USB devices more gracefully, and makes Windows apps behave even more like Mac ones (including letting you use Mac keyboard combinations).

People who want to run Windows on a Mac are blessed with a difficult choice: Both Fusion and Parallels are outstanding pieces of software. But Parallels has outperformed Fusion in recent speed tests. If VMware’s claims are realistic, Fusion just eliminated performance as a major difference between the two products.

The upgrade is free for Fusion 3 owners, $39.99 for users of previous versions, and $79.99 for new customers.

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VMware Fusion 3 Takes Windows-on-Mac Up a Notch

VMware Fusion BoxWas it really only a little over three years ago that the formerly fanciful notion of being able to run Windows apps within OS X without major limitations¬†became reality? Today, archrivals Parallels Desktop and VMware Fusion continue to undergo aggressive upgrades aimed at making the virtualization of Windows on Macs even more powerful, seamless, and simple. And today, VMware is announcing that it’s taking preorders for VMware Fusion 3, which will ship on October 27th.

I haven’t had any hands-on time with the new version yet, but the list of features that VMware has revealed leaves me anxious to get my mitts on it:

  • Snow Leopard support, including a 64-bit engine and support for OS X’s 64-bit kernel.
  • Full support for Windows 7, including the Aero interface and Flip 3D task switching and better support for DirectX and OpenGL graphics.
  • A migration utility that lets you import a real PC’s Windows installation over the network. (Parallels introduced something similar in August, but did so in a separate version of the product that does the job over a bundled USB cable.)
  • A menu for your Windows apps that appears on the right-hand side of OS X’s Menu Bar, reducing or eliminating the need to use Windows’ Start menu and Taskbar.
  • A more efficient engine that’s less taxing on a Mac’s CPU, can run Windows well in 1GB of RAM, and reduces battery drain, according to VMware. I’m especially happy about that last point–my biggest beef with both Fusion and Parallels is the dramatically reduced battery life I get when they’re running. (Still to be determined: How this version’s speed compares to Parallels–the Parallels folks understandably like to tout this MacTech story that shows their product outperforming Fusion 2 in most tests.)

In all, VMware says that Fusion 3 has more than fifty new features. It’ll cost $79.99 for new users; an upgrade version will be $39.99. A few screens supplied by VMware after the jump.

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Is Microsoft Preparing to Announce a Yahoo Search Deal?

Microsoft may be ready to inject some sizzle into its jaded romance with Yahoo. Jeffries investment bank analyst Katherine Egbert is reporting that Microsoft registered a limited liability company (LLC) in Delaware last week–a move that she believes could precipitate an acquisition or joint venture.

Microsoft also recently disclosed that it is issuing bonds, making an acquisition more of a likelihood.

Egbert suggested that Microsoft’s target may be desktop and virtualization management software maker Citrix, but Yahoo is also a highly candidate. The timing for Yahoo would fits in light of news that Microsoft intends to invest up to $100 million to advertise its “Bing” (or something) search engine.

That investment makes little sense unless Microsoft has a more compelling service and a greater flow of traffic to Bing. A deal with Yahoo would be a means to those ends, and it has repeatedly been on the table for months.

I’m happy using Google for search, so I would need to see some stunning search results before I make the switch. To put it bluntly, Microsoft might be blowing its $100 million on another failed consumer venture, and I believe that a Citrix deal would make more sense in the long term.

The first thing that comes to mind when I think about what’s in it for Microsoft is deploying virtual desktop environments within enterprises. Cloud computing and server-based virtualization are other areas where Microsoft would benefit. Strategically, acquiring Citrix would help Microsoft compete with VMware–one of the software giant’s greatest bete noires at the moment.

Whether Microsoft’s machinations involve Yahoo, Citrix, or something else, keep an ear out for news out of Redmond within the coming days or weeks.

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