VMware delays the launch of View 4.5. Too much focus on the dropped client hypervisor perhaps?

A bunch of articles have started to surface today about the new features of VMware View 4.5.

A bunch of articles have started to surface today about the new features of VMware View 4.5. VMware's desktop marketing folks started briefing reporters a few weeks ago, although part-way through the process, they stopped. I was one of the unlucky ones who didn't have a briefing scheduled until later in the week. My briefing was initially rescheduled from last week until yesterday, and then finally postponed indefinitely.

I asked my PR contact about the delay, and she told me they decided to reschedule the launch closer to GA. (In VMware PRlance, "launch" apparently means "announcement" and "GA" means "release," so VMware wanted to "reschedule the product announcement so that it was closer to the product release.") That release, I was told, was unknown at this time, but would definitely be in 2010. They also made it very clear (to me) that the release was not delayed, only the announcement of it was delayed.

At this point I kind of thought that VMware was crazy, because if I were them I would L-O-V-E to announce View 4.5 the week before Citrix Synergy. I can't possibly imagine why they would change their mind, but whatever... I shrugged it off and moved on to other things.

But then yesterday I got an email from a TechTarget colleague asking me some questions about View 4.5. "View 4.5?" I wondered to her, "I don't know? I thought they canceled the briefings." My colleague told me that she had been briefed (via a VMware in-person visit to Boston!) and had agreed to an embargo of May 4th (today). Part of that briefing included VMware telling her that View 4.5 would be released in July. Then after the briefing was over VMware contacted her again to tell her that the release was being pushed back. And since you can't really "unbrief" a reporter, this is why today you're seeing some news outlets with articles about View 4.5 and others with nothing.

So again, this is kind of strange. It seems those who were briefed were told View 4.5 would be out in July, but then that story changed to "sometime in 2010." Those who weren't briefed never heard the July story, so they were just told there was never any announcement (which was technically true since everything was under embargo) and that the release would be "sometime in 2010."

Why the change of story and the delay?

It's clear that VMware has some 11th-hour issues going on here with their story around View 4.5. I mean you don't send a team out to do a dog-and-pony road show with reporters unless you're sure of your plans. So the fact they started that and then cancels shows something drastic is changing at the last minute.

What's most interesting is what was missing from the reporters' briefings. While they were told about several new things in View 4.5, they were told that View 4.5 would NOT have the bare-metal client hypervisor capability that VMware first showed us in 2008 and initially hinted would be released in 2009. In fact the VMware marketing folks even kind of slammed client hypervisors, saying that users don't want something else that IT has to install, and that it's better to just have client-based VDI or offline VDI via a Type 2 environment running on top of an existing OS like Windows or Mac. And HEY! LOOK AT THAT! View 4.5 just so happens to have "View Client Mode" (which is essentially the "offline mode" from previous versions but with the "experimental" designation removed).

Funny how that works.. VMware pooh-poohing bare-metal client hypervisors and just "coincidentally" talking up the Type 2 environment that their product just happens to support! (A thousand bucks says that when they do finally release the client hypervisor that they'll suddenly forget these slams and talk about how awesome they are.)

And I'm sure the fact that it's widely expected that Citrix will release XenClient (their bare-metal client hypervisor) at Synergy next week means that now VMware has something else to slam Citrix about.

It's still weird though...

The one thing I can't figure out is why VMware would suddenly decide to pull their release of View 4.5 now? I mean I can understand if they were out there talking about client hypervisors and some engineering person said, "Guys, there's no way in hell we're shipping this in July, so let's just stop mentioning it." But that's not the case since the marketing team was already slamming client hypervisors. Maybe it's the opposite? Maybe if Citrix adds a XenClient client hypervisor to XenDesktop then VMware thinks their next release of View must include a client hypervisor, so maybe they're delaying View 4.5 for a few months until they can get a client hypervisor ready?

What do you think?

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All I know is that in last week's VMware channel notification, the launch of View 4.5 was prominently advertised to be 25th/26th May.


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I think this gives them an opportunity to listen to Synergy next week and then craft a response. They are loosing bad when it come to real world implementation so need to do something. You can only offer ELA sweeteners for so so long, show me the $$$ is the pressure they are under in the desktop team for sure.


CVP is a failed project, and shows how hard a Type 1 is. If Vmware can’t build it, your know Neoclues and Virtual Computer have low quality hypervisors. Even Citrix admit it will be a v1 release for them based on their blogs yesterday. So where does that leave VMware? For sure they will spread Type 2 ACE BS for a while, when they should have acquired Moka 5 a long time ago. It’s funny when I speak to all these vendors and they justify it as well one a-hole PM made a decision to go down the wrong path and there is no brave sole who can just cuts losses and change course. The higher you go up the chain to explain this, the dumber the mgmt team is and don’t understand the technology. Citrix sis massively guilty of this as well. Just look at the poor quality of XD, forget about the complexity of set up which is a one time event.


So my guess is VMware, can’t just sit there and let Citrix have a party with their renewed vows with MS. I think they could buy Wanova to support their story. In essence a management stack which can be used online and offline.  This would let them compete head to head with MS and crappy SCCM and MDOP. Sure it’s a tiny start up, but it could be used to simply make end point mgmt easier, and then if they ever see Type 1 taking hold they can move to it over time. Spend the money on building a rich mgmt stack for the desktop now vs. investing in Type 1 which has a long way to go. Win the mgmt battle, and Type 1 will become a platform. Citrix is crippled in their ability to do this, because if they did, MS would simply overrule and say sell SCCM/MDOP bitches. So I think a mgmt play for Vmware on the desktops and changing the focus away from Client hypervisor by simply saying it’s not ready for a long time as opposed to dismissing it would be a smart move. It would also remove the need for the sucky PCoIP and their even worse than Citrix VDI infrastructure. Point being, shift away from VDI, and focus on client mgmt and win. If they are smart they already know that winning in the desktop datacenter is going to be very hard with what they have, so change the game!


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This is consistent with what we've been hearing from customers and VMware partners.  The fact of the matter is that building client solutions is a very different set of requirements than delivering data center solutions and currently VMware's DNA is all about the server.  So delivering customer-focused solutions that solve desktop/client-specific problems is an uphill challenge for them.  As for the client hypervisor itself, we all know that it is far from trivial in taking a server hypervisor and morphing it into a client hypervisor.  The complexity of the client, with the hundreds of various I/O devices, power management settings, advanced GUI and such makes virtualizing it MUCH more complex than simply virtualizing the disk, memory and keyboard for a server.  


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Meh.


Still not impressed.  Citrix XenDesktop is still better everywhere I have used it.  Even when running on ESX.


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Brian,


is there a chance to remove Appdetective ?


I reviewed his latest 8 articles and he is just bullshitting Citrix rather then providing serious comments. We don't want VMWare's bullshit marketing guys on our forums. I am happy with my VMWare environment and remain on this site. But honestly this guy called Appdetective has no clue what he was talking about and his content is wrong or badly researched, Check all articles written by him, NO ONE is technically proven, just surface blabla . Looking forward to your View 4.5 review Brian, Perhaps you could review also the linked cloning from View 4.5 and the management of clones and storage usage of the linked clones.


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Sarcastic joke from a Citrix formatted people : strange that a virtualization specialist and leader didn't suceed to get to a Type-I client hypervisor when other *should* make it (let's wait for XenClient to be sure).


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@VMSoldier: I don't believe that Brian is an avid supporter of censorship.


And honestly, appdetective always provides valuable new perspectives and opinions on the topics at hand.


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@VMsoldier... Appdetective hates VMware (well View) almost as much as I do. In fact he's normally very supportive/pro Citrix. I think you need to read all of his articles/posts.


@Brian... While we're talking about Type 1 any chance of a full on NxTop article? I have a small POC setup and I'm impressed - room for improvement but very impressed none the less. It has the opportunity to complement VDI/TS perfectly and theres just something about it (or the type of technology) that just feels right for managing the end-point device.


Cheers,


Dan.


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I highly recommend VMWare desktop engineers to attend this synergy session. :)


citrix.g2planet.com/.../public_session_view.php


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@VMsoldier, I will not remove AppDetective. First, as others have pointed out, it's a dangerous precedent to start removing comments that aren't popular. If you don't agree with something AppDective said, then please post your own views. (And don't just say "you suck AppD," because those kinds of comments that have no additional value will be removed.)


Second, for AppDectective's comment in this article, I actually agree with him. I think he makes good points. So not only do I not want to remove it, it's an example of the kind of comments that I hope to continue to receive!


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Well, Brian focuses on its client hypervisor. But if you reexamined the sequence, the reason of delay can not be the hypervisor at all. The fact of its last minute change means it has something to do with it execution capability of what they originally planned to release in July. Client hypervisor was out months ago. Otherwise their marketing machine would not have had the time to prepare the messaging. This time, it must be something new. Maybe quality issue. Maybe they just have no clue on what they are doing.


Brian, instead of talking to their marketing person, try to talk to their product management team. You will probably get much lower confidence on the team leadership and, otherwise, much better idea what is going on inside VMware's desktop division.


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Maybe VMware did this on purpose.  Maybe they pulled this stunt to generate hype about View 4.5 before Synergy knowing full well their product wasn't ready.  It worked didn't it (seeing as you wrote this article)?  Probably not, but just a thought.


As a side note, VMware is beginning to lag behind in the VDI space and it's starting to show.  They're faltering, changing their stories, and starting to look like clowns.  Tick tock VMware, your customers are seeing past your marketing, and going right past you to Citrix's solution.


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A delay in View 4.5 is also a delay in View supporting Windows 7.


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I thought this article was hilarious - the author is very clear that View 4.5 has not been delayed, but at the same time says there is no release date. I guess it's hard for a product to be delayed if they aren't willing to give a release date.


searchvirtualdatacentre.techtarget.co.uk/.../0,294698,sid203_gci1514225,00.html


Our Vmware sales rep told us View 4.5 will be released at VMWorld in August.


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