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VMware Makes an iPad App

The Apple iPad got a major enterprise nod this week from virtualization giant VMware Inc.

The Palo Alto, Calif.-based virtualization vendor has introduced its first iPad app, a 6.1 MB download called VMware View for iPad. The free app enters the crowded fray of remote desktop apps for iPad users, joining Citrix Receiver for iPad, Wyse PocketCloud RDP/VNC (Remote Desktop) and others. (See RCP's Web exclusive, 23 Intriguing iPad Apps for Microsoft Partners, for a discussion of several of them and many apps in other categories.)

In a statement, Christopher Young, VMware vice president and general manager for End-User Computing, explained VMware's decision to move into media tablet apps. "The growing popularity of the iPad in business presents a new opportunity for enterprise IT organizations to empower their mobile workforces by providing users with anytime access to business-critical apps on the go," Young said.

Elsewhere, VMware CTO Steve Herrod's blog almost hints that VMware felt a little reluctance to jump into media tablets and mobile apps. "Welcomed or not, these devices are entering enterprises with users requiring the freedom to take advantage of them," he wrote.

Even if VMware's app, which requires VMware View 4.6 on the back-end, is entering an already bustling market, the company appears to have put some serious thought into the app for remote viewing of Windows desktops. A video demo of the app by VMware shows what appears to be some rather slick development on top of Apple's multi-touch interface.

Now that VMware has an app in the Apple iTunes Store, the company seems enthusiastic about diving deeper. "This is just the beginning of our mobile device efforts, and just one step in the overall journey we have in mind for end-user computing," Herrod wrote.

Maybe an obvious step would be following in the tracks of iDatacenter, another iPad app for administering a virtual datacenter, including monitoring a virtual machine, physical host or datacenter, and restarting, shutting down or moving virtual machines. The $1.99, 0.5 MB app by Nym Networks gets its real power, of course, from the server it connects to -- VMware vCenter Server 4.0 or later is required.

Posted by Scott Bekker on March 10, 2011