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Is VMware’s vClient a New Idea?

As a student of Tai Chi and the martial arts, I’ve noted that while some battles are worth fighting and others are not, others are just confusing. There’s been a battle going on for many years between IT and telecom vendors and suppliers over something called convergence. There have been many concrete examples of IT suppliers stealing thunder from the telecom guys and some of the other way around. For the latter, take a look at AT&T’s recent announcement about cloud computing.

It’s a very interesting, complex, and occasionally byzantine market dynamic. Generally speaking, IT players tend to win these battles. Why? Because the movement and direction of technology vectors favors them. An obvious example is when Microsoft basically froze the IP PBX market with its well-orchestrated unified communications barrage a few years ago. More recently, we have iPhone. Oh and let’s not forget Google phone, which Editor-in-chief Doug Barney wrote about recently.

With those little tidbits as background, it may come as a surprise that VMware’s new strategy about having your desktop follow your device is really nothing new – at least in telecom circles. While the telecom guys do indeed lose many of the market battles, we’ll have to give them a lot of style points for at least framing the market opportunity and technology direction.

If you’re interested, this was done under the banner of a 5 year old architectural framework called IMS or IP Multimedia Subsystems. The basic goal is simple and resonates very well with VMware’s approach: any device should be able to connect to any content on any network at any time. And the 3GPP framers of IMS weren’t only thinking phones. IMS – which also is a long way from full realization – was intended to apply to compute resources like PCs as well as phones.

Posted by Tom Valovic on 09/30/2008 at 12:49 PM


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