Is it time for VMware to buy a printing company like ThinPrint?

Now that Horizon 6 is out and people (like me) have been talking about how it's the first major competition to Citrix XenApp, people (again like me) have been wondering: How do you print from this thing? VMware did a deal with ThinPrint for View, but as far as I can tell that doesn't extend into this Horizon 6 / RDSH / app publishing world.

Now that Horizon 6 is out and people (like me) have been talking about how it's the first major competition to Citrix XenApp, people (again like me) have been wondering: How do you print from this thing?

VMware did a deal with ThinPrint for View, but as far as I can tell that doesn't extend into this Horizon 6 / RDSH / app publishing world. I know that VMware said they were planning on iterating quickly when it comes to Horizon 6, but really I wonder what they can do apart from integrating ThinPrint? And at that point, does it just make sense to buy ThinPrint? There's an argument to be made that what ThinPrint offers is virtual printing—any print job to any printer from anywhere. ThinPrint is a pure-play software company, so no worries about VMware having to get into the hardware business. And VMware already demonstrated with Wanova and Horizon Mirage that they'll go after tangential markets to virtualization. So why not printing?

The only catch is that ThinPrint is owned by Cortado. (At least I think that's how it works. Or ThinPrint spun off the Cortado brand which become the name of the parent company?) Anyway, Cortado is more of a full-fledged EMM company, so it seems like VMware wouldn't need them on the heels of buying AirWatch. But maybe there's a way VMware can at least get ThinPrint from them?

What are the alternatives? Tricerat? UniPrint? (UniPrint might be a good fit since they only offer printing. Plus they already have something called "printing virtualization" so they're half way there!)

What do you think? How important is printing to you? Does it need to be built into the platform? Is this holding VMware back?

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Just emphasis the limitation of their V1.0 product that is not currently even release in beta ;-)


Thin Print (for printing), F5 (fo SSL), ... Lot's of things still missing


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I agree Brian. VMware is about to get a rude awakening on this issue, and it took Citrix a very long time to sort it out. I posed this question a few weeks ago on Twitter and I got a lot of push back on this same question. I can't comment publicly about who they should acquire but I do agree that they will need to move a light speed on this issue if they want to win over XenApp customers.


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@Gunnar anyone that doesnt think printing (and easy to use works every time print) is important is someone not in touch with the real world uses of these products.


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The main question here is not really an acquisition but what they will do with the product they acquire. I do hope they do a much better job than what they did with their profile handling solution acquisition (RTO).


CR


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The problem I have is that printing is mainly a design problem with the environment.  My last project was at a large law firm and printing was the bulk of their problem and to fix it wasn't easy they have printer drivers everywhere.   They can use something like ThinPrint to alleviate the Citrix servers from becoming a Printer Driver pit.


The problem is they are too cheap to buy ThinPrint as a add-on and having Citrix include ThinPrint would greatly fix printing but Citrix has no interest adding it for no extra gains in licensing and very few would license it if it cost extra $$


The only way we've kept things under control is to limit the amount of printer models being accepted into the firm.


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How many people would they be buying for a printing feature? Cheaper to build....


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Had a talk with our VMware rep the other day and they did a webex demo for Horizon 6(a few glitches here and there).  We've been using Citrix for a long time(seems like forever sometimes) and printing has always been a nightmare.  It got better with the print management feature that got added to 6.5 but it still doesn't work reliably. The first question that all of us at my place had for the engineer was whether or not you could print from a published app, reliably.  The answer was "not right now but this is version 1.0.  Updates will come quickly and there are several things that we can't say are working yet because we won't until they are verified as ready for live."  Both disappointing and refreshing at the same time.  We strictly publish apps, not desktops here, so without a solution for printing from those apps, we won't even be trying the version 1.0 60 day trial that they will offer.  So in response to your question, assuming that it allows for a printer to be applied to a specific device and I don't have people calling me asking why they are suddenly "printing across the street today"... then Hell yes they should!!!  It will make the users happier, not to mention the fact that they would actually have a chance at gaining more customer's like my company.  I would be more than happy to make the switch if they can make that happen.  I love the features of Citrix and the idea behind the services but the implementation of printing as well as some of the problems with the database have become more and more unpalatable over the years.


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