VMware's (VMW, EMC) new Horizon 6 platform integrates the company's existing PC and app virtualization offerings (they allow computing resources to be hosted/managed via servers). The company promises common management of apps and desktops, new monitoring/automation tools, and a unified workspace accessible through a single login.
Horizon 6 is aimed squarely at PC virtualization leader Citrix's (CTXS +1.3%) XenDesktop and XenApp platforms; XenDesktop offers a measure of integrated desktop/app management. While Citrix is coming off a rough quarter, VMware saw its end-user computing license bookings rise nearly 30% in Q4.
VMware exec Alistair Wildman asserts Horizon 6's storage virtualization support (through VMware's VSAN solution) puts virtual desktop operating costs on par with regular desktops. "For [virtual desktop] projects, storage is by far the biggest component, so if you can bring that down, you start to get more people interested in deploying them."
Both VMware and Citrix investors were put on edge last fall when Amazon unveiled its low-cost/cloud-based WorkSpaces PC virtualization service. VMware and Citrix each offer cloud PC virtualization (DaaS) solutions via partners.