VMware’s DaaS product team must be high-fiving each other like the just landed on the Moon. Not only did they beat Amazon Web Services and Microsoft to the market with their own DaaS solution, but Amazon has been radio silent since the beginning of the year and Microsoft has yet to say anything publicly about “Mohoro”. Some would argue that VMware has a competitive leg up for DaaS early-adopters, especially when compared to AWS WorkSpaces because they leverage the same protocol, but how many early adopters can there be? And frankly, how many of them care about the protocol they’re using if they’re used to living life on the bleeding edge? Still, they were first among the giants.
The question, though, is why are Amazon and Microsoft silent at this point? There’s a huge wave of buzz around DaaS and the fact that companies with gigantic brand recognition and market pull are entering the space. As it stands, the platforms in play today are (in a rough order): VMware, Citrix, dinCloud, & Navisite. We expect soon that the top three will consist of VMware, Microsoft, and Amazon (unless Citrix gets in the game with a more DaaS-specific solution, but even then can they overtake one of those three?), but in the meantime those other companies are the primary benefactors of all the buzz.
I’m not standing on a soap box saying “It’s been almost two weeks since VMware beat you to the market. Where you at, Amazon & Microsoft?” I am, however, saying that the Pacific Northwest is strangely quiet in a space we know they’re operating in, at a time when people are intensely curious to see what they have to offer.
Amazon announced their solution back in November, and after an early media campaign we haven’t heard much from them. There are demo accounts available, so it’s not like the product is vaporware, but where is the public-facing, anyone-can-try-it demo (not the “Limited Preview” that is advertised on their site)? Even if it’s in beta for a short time, that’s better than nothing and can help companies dip their toe into the water while considering a solution. If the product isn’t yet ready for that, why did they announce it when they did?
Microsoft has a slightly better excuse. All accounts of Mohoro are based on internet chatter from May, 2013. We’re almost a year into that, but since Microsoft hasn’t made a single mention of the solution publicly, there’s little to be expected (or mad about). Even back in May, when Mary Jo Foley broke the news, the speculation was that it wouldn’t be until 2H 2014 before a product launched. Given that timeframe, it’s quite possible that we’ll see something more concrete about Mohoro at Tech Ed this May with a launch in the following months. That will have given Microsoft a full year to work on the solution while quietly observing all the bloggers and tweeters that had something to say about it. If TechEd comes and goes without a mention of a Microsoft-hosted desktop or application solution hosted in Azure, you can expect another one of those “What the hell is Microsoft thinking?” articles.\
I guess it’s more frustrating than anything. We got so worked up about these solutions that we can’t wait to get our hands on them and put them through the wringer. VMware clearly is ahead of the pack and deserves credit for that, but most of us are still waiting for the complete picture to be revealed to make any decisions. Don’t hold your breath. You can always check out one of the other solutions while you wait.
(Or you can read our DaaS book!)