Talking tech since 2003

Much has been made of the approaching cut-off date for Microsoft’s support of the relatively ancient Windows XP operating system. Since so many offices still rely on XP to run their businesses (not to mention specialized software that maintains customer or patient databases), the fact that Microsoft will officially be ending its support of the OS on April 8, there’s a real need for XP’s current users to find solutions—fast. According to a post on Google’s Enterprise Blog, a partnership between Google and VMWare might provide that very solution.

The entry explains that the two companies have forged a partnership to bring VMWare’s Desktop as a Service (or DaaS) environment to Chrome OS. In the broad view, this new partnership means that if you have a Windows PC, but want easy access to it wherever you might be, all you’ll need to do is pull out a comparatively inexpensive Chromebook and connect it to the Internet for access to the Windows environment.

While this is cool for anyone looking to expand their personal accessibility options, one of the main thrusts behind the partnership, it seems, is the ability to give offices reliant on Windows XP a way out of upgrading to Windows 7 and 8 machines. Instead, a Windows XP computer can be hooked up to the Internet, and Chrome OS can be used to access everything that’s needed on the older machine without needing to worry about compatibility issues in other areas of computing.

This is great news for businesses who are dragging their feet about upgrading, or those who can’t afford to buy new Windows PCs. This is potentially bad news for Microsoft, which is still struggling to get its customers to jump on the Windows 8 bandwagon.

But let’s also be real for a second: if a business is still relying on Windows XP, chances are good it’s not too hooked into the world of tech. Chances are good that the solution offered by Google and VMWare will be completely under their radar, and instead they’ll simply tell their IT guy to just upgrade everyone already. That’s my guess, anyway. I have my doubts that this will put that much of a dent in Microsoft’s Windows 8 efforts. Even still, any chance for people to get out of Microsoft’s ecosystem represents the slowly growing threat to its OS dominance.


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