VMware has finally decided to open-source its client for virtual desktops, releasing it under the LGPL. This was in response to intense pressure from the growing number of Linux distros that include virtualization by default. From the post:
The CEO replacement who entered VMware last year was Paul Maritz, a long-time Microsoft executive with intimate familiarity with how Windows swallowed up entire categories of utility software as it grew up by simply wrapping free utilities into the operating system. Paul knows about that, and he had to have seen last year the dual threats to VMware of open source virtualization offerings and virtualization on board in operating systems. The VMware View Open Client allows businesses to host virtualized desktops in the data center, and users can access their desktops from any device. Going with an open source solution like this was VMware’s only choice, especially as Microsoft includes Hyper-V virtualization in Windows Server. I’m sure Maritz was very focused on the Microsoft threat, because he used to be behind similar threats. VMware can grab market share with this move, stave off Microsoft’s dominance, and offer support and services around its open source offering.’
You can get VMware View Open Client here, licensed under the Lesser GPL. It’s essentially a bet that customized user desktops are hosted in data centers, and that businesses will take to the idea that they can save money by centralizing custom solutions in data centers for desktop users to take advantage of through virtualization.