IBM’s Secret Cloud Weapon vs. Microsoft Windows PCs
Over the past three two years or so, IBM has quietly worked with an Austin, Texas-based software company to develop a range of cloud and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) solutions. The ultimate goal: IBM is hoping to promote a range of solutions to potentially displace the traditional Windows PC market.
The business relationship involves a growing bond between IBM and Virtual Bridges, which develops VERDE — an end-to-end virtual desktop infrastructure solution. Talkin’ Cloud’s sister web sites (MSPmentor and The VAR Guy) have been tracking the IBM-Virtual Bridges relationship since around 2009. The latest IBM development, announced today, is called IBM Virtual Desktop for Smart Business. It allows channel partners and cloud integrators to centrally host and manage Windows and Linux desktops for end-customers.
I concede: I’ve often wondered if the IBM-Virtual Bridges relationship would ever push beyond a few customer pilots. But the latest announcement sounds like the real deal. According to today’s IBM announcement:
“IBM Virtual Desktop will be delivered through IBM Business Partners who will provide local consulting, networking and software infrastructure skills to ensure smooth installation. An early adopter program drew strong channel interest with well over 100 IBM Business Partners actively providing feedback and preparing to use the program to tap into the growing demand for desktop virtualization solutions.”
About a year ago, IBM and Virtual Bridges promoted the fact that virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) can give customers a low-cost alternative to Windows 7 PCs. But this time around, IBM seems to be stating that VDI and Virtual Bridges’ software are ideal for mobile devices (laptops, tablets and more) that need to easily access desktop applications.
Either way IBM’s goal is clear: Give channel partners and end-customers well-defined alternatives to the traditional Windows PC market. If the IBM-Virtual Bridges relationship succeeds, we’ll start to see VARs and MSPs hosting the IBM Virtual Desktop solution for end customers. We’ll be watching to see if IBM’s strategy becomes a partner and customer reality.