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New VMware workspace product still a ways off

According to VMware's GM for EUC, Project Enzo isn't playing catch-up to Citrix Workspace Cloud. He also weighs in on BlackBerry's Good Technology deal.

VMware is taking its time before releasing its next workspace product.

Workspaces promise to solve a major IT challenge in the mobile cloud era: the delivery of various application types to a plethora of endpoint devices. Citrix released its entry, Workspace Cloud, last month. VMware was expected to highlight its product, Project Enzo, at last week's VMworld conference, but attendees didn't hear much. A beta of the VMware workspace product is now available to qualified customers and partners who sign a nondisclosure agreement, and general availability will come "in due course," said Sanjay Poonen, the company's general manager for end-user computing.

In this interview, Poonen also discusses Unity Touch -- VMware's technology that adapts Windows apps for touchscreen devices -- and shares his thoughts on BlackBerry's acquisition of Good Technology.

Can you provide an update on Project Enzo? Is there any sense of urgency to get it to market to compete with Citrix?

Sanjay Poonen, VMware general managerSanjay Poonen

Sanjay Poonen: It's a different type of product. There's a core aspect to it that joins to converged infrastructure, which is not really part of the Citrix Workspace Cloud. There's an element of it that's cloud desktops or workspace as a service. There's an element of it that's cloud management. There's an element of it that's hyper-converged infrastructure.

We will do things not based on any competitors' timeline. We're just really focused on making this the best product.

Can we expect to see more around Unity Touch in response to the new batch of application refactoring vendors in the market?

Poonen: You're going to continue to see that be a big part of the Horizon View Client.

Do you see a lot of demand from customers for ways to make their legacy desktop apps more mobile-friendly?

Poonen: It would be great if the entire world was [running native mobile or HTML5 apps]. But the fact is, if you go in the enterprise, there are still a lot of companies who have client/server, old browser apps.

Because of that legacy, we think there's a tremendous opportunity to … bring the power of virtualization and abstraction technologies to bring them into the context of the mobile world. That's not going away until those apps all get rewritten for an HTML5, mobile world. While that's happening, we can be that transition technology.

Did you previously view BlackBerry as serious competitors in [enterprise mobility management] EMM? If not, has the Good Technology acquisition changed that?

We will do things not based on any competitors' timeline.
Sanjay PoonenVMware general manager

Poonen: I think you should make your own assessments based on the analysts, [Gartner Inc.'s] Magic Quadrants and so on. It's a tremendous validation that enterprise mobility is important when a player that is no longer who people probably view as the dominant handset anymore -- when they're making a move.

AirWatch was the leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant at the time you acquired them and still is today. Good is not as high, but is still in the Leaders quadrant. VMware spent about a billion dollars more on AirWatch than BlackBerry spent on Good. What was it about AirWatch that made it so much more valuable to VMware?

Poonen: At the time, as we looked at it, we felt it was the best solution. I think many of the analysts will also agree with that, and nothing has changed. We felt that mobility was a key part to transforming the VMware story a little bit more toward end users and the consumerization of IT. What other companies pay for other businesses, it's a function of where they are in their cycle, and that valuation changes over time.

Colin Steele is editorial director of TechTarget's End-User Computing Media Group. Email him and follow him on Twitter.

Next Steps

Workspace Cloud marks a drastic shift for Citrix

Sanjay Poonen sounds off on VDI competition

Dig Deeper on Application modernization and mobile app delivery

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