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VMware Buys Thinstall & Foedus

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VMware Buys Thinstall & Foedus

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VMware is buying a little San Francisco-based application virtualization house called Thinstall on undisclosed terms to expand its ability to provision, deploy and update the desktop.

VMware observes that delivering applications is the single largest cost of desktop administration and claims that Thinstall’s third-generation solution offers the “best technological approach in the market for application virtualization” for making the process faster, easier and more secure.

Thinstall is VMware’s second recent acquisition. Last week word surfaced that it had bought the services-related IP and people connected with a New Hampshire-based concern called Foedus. VMware says it intends to leverage Foedus’ application and desktop virtualization services to help its resellers, who sell the lion’s share of VMware, learn best practices and expand their services businesses.

Thinstall’s widgetry detaches applications – or at least the ones it works with – from the underlying operating system and requires no client-side agents, supporting server infrastructure or special management tools. It integrates into existing management schemes and delivers the applications across a variety of operating systems such as NT, 2000, XP and Vista so that the programs move with the user as needed.

It is supposed to reduce deployment costs by eliminating runtime conflicts. It is also supposed to practically eliminate QA testing against multiple platforms and other applications. Pricing for its Virtualization Suite starts at $4,995.

Reviewers, however, say there are a few architectural hazards in Thinstall that demonstrate themselves in nasty version control and patching.

Be that as it may, the privately held company, which got started in 1999 and fielded its first production software in 2001, claims to have installed thousands of applications on millions of desktops and counts GE, the Defense Department, Intuit, Qualcomm, Lucent, Northrop Grumman and Morgan Stanley among its reported 600 customers.

VMware expects the Thinstall acquisition to close this quarter. We’ll have to see what it does about Thinstall’s partnership with Citrix, which recently bought VMware competitor Xen Source.

By the way, for those of you who vaguely remember your Latin and are scratching your heads, yes, the adjective foedus does indeed mean foul, smelly or filthy. However, the noun foedus means a pact or agreement. In this case foedus is obviously a noun.

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