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Dell vWorkspace discontinued as EMC deal looms

Dell is ending development of its vWorkspace product. The move may be a result of preparation for the Dell-EMC deal that brings competitor VMware under its hood.

Dell vWorkspace is the first casualty of the company's pending EMC acquisition, but existing customers can expect...

continued support.

Dell confirmed it will not release a new version of its desktop virtualization software, and experts speculated that the EMC deal is behind the decision. EMC owns 80% of VMware, and the deal could result in overlap between Dell vWorkspace and VMware's competing desktop virtualization platform, Horizon View.

Existing Dell vWorkspace customers should plan ahead by evaluating other desktop and application delivery options, said Jim Davies, director of IT at Ongweoweh Corp., a pallet and packing management company in Ithaca, N.Y. that has used Horizon View for six years.

"If I'm happy with [vWorkspace], I would keep it for a couple years," he said. "But since there is no next release, I would have to make a decision for what's next."

Dell acquired vWorkspace through its acquisition of Quest Software in 2012. Dell will not sell licenses for new deployments, but existing vWorkspace customers can continue to buy additional licenses and receive maintenance updates and support, the company said in a statement.

BrianMadden.com first reported the news of vWorkspace's demise.

The VMware factor

Dell in October agreed to acquire storage giant EMC for a record $67 billion. If the deal closes, it would be ideal for Dell to give vWorkspace customers the option of moving to VMware Horizon at a discount, Davies said.

"If they do anything but that, it's just not nice," he said.

Dell already didn't want to compete with its partners, and now one of its partners is its own company.
Robert Youngresearch analyst, IDC

Dell has partnered with both VMware and its rival Citrix. It remains to be seen whether Dell will become more invested in VMware's virtualization business after the EMC deal closes, and if that will affect Dell's partnership with Citrix, said Robert Young, research analyst at IDC. 

"Dell already didn't want to compete with its partners, and now one of its partners is its own company," he said.

Dell also sells servers and thin client devices that support both VMware and Citrix's desktop virtualization platforms. That hardware makes up a large amount of Dell's revenue, and it would be wise to remain vendor-agnostic, Young said.

"Citrix has the lion's share of revenue in the virtual client computing market, so it wouldn't make sense for Dell to isolate itself from that," he said.

Other VMware and EMC technologies overlap with some of Dell's, which means that more products could have the same fate as vWorkspace, said Stephen Monteros, vice president of business development and strategic initiatives at SIGMAnet, a Dell partner in Ontario, Calif.

VMware owns enterprise mobility management (EMM) platform AirWatch, and Dell has its own EMM software. Dell and EMC each have a storage business, while VMware Mirage and Dell's KACE line of products compete in the endpoint management market.

"It's bigger than just talking about vWorkspace," Young said. "It could be a sign of what's to come. ... It's not outside the realm of logic that Dell is starting to think ahead."

Next Steps

Complete coverage of Dell's EMC acquisition

Why the future of vWorkspace was always in doubt

How the Dell-EMC deal might affect server virtualization

Dig Deeper on Virtual desktop software and vendors

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