Gartner sceptical of Google VMWare deal

Enterprise Applications

by Joe Curtis| 14 February 2014

Chromebooks’ support of legacy Windows won’t guarantee enterprise penetration, claim analysts.

Analysts have greeted news that Google is now providing legacy Windows applications on its Chromebook with scepticism.

The deal with VMWare, announced on Wednesday, represents Google's push into the enterprise space, as the search engine giant tries to take business away from Microsoft through its Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) approach.

Under the agreement, VMWare optimised its virtualisation DaaS service Horizon View for the Chromebook, meaning businesses using the laptop will have access to legacy Windows applications, data and desktops.

It comes as Microsoft support for Windows XP is due to expire on April 8, with businesses facing questions over whether to upgrade to Windows 7 or 8.

But Gartner dismissed Google's contention that Chromebook's DaaS capability could see it become the new office standard.

Research VP for mobile and client platforms, Michael Silver, told CBR: "This move will likely get a lot of headlines, but we'd be sceptical on uptake.

"Deploying a hosted virtual desktop infrastructure is not a trivial exercise and it's one with many costs and complexities.

"Organisations have been able to move Windows workloads to a variety of back end solutions for over a decade. For some users it can work very well. For others not so much."

He conceded that because it is agentless and includes video improvements, Google's DaaS deal will improve the user experience for customers, but "this does not create a revolution around Windows upgrades."

While Google Enterprise president Amit Singh boasted that the Chromebook would become "the new way of doing business" and would save $5,000 per computer when compared to using a desktop, CIC's Clive Howard said Microsoft would not be too concerned about the threat to its supremacy.

"[Microsoft's] obsession with Windows and the platform is no longer what it used to be," he said. "Now they'll think 'yes Windows is taking the hits, but that's not what we're after'.

"They are going to be rolling out native Office on other devices, they'll be rolling out major applications on other platforms, giving you tools to build on other platforms.

"The important point is that Microsoft will be running on lots of applications."

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