Dell Mobilizes PocketCloud For Windows RT

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Dell delivers an upgraded version of the Dell Wyse PocketCloud suite which is now compatible with WIndows 8 RT tablets. Does the rise in vendor-specific cloud portal applications say something about the marginalization of Windows 8 RT as a differentiated computing platform?

Dell is focusing on the client end of its end-to-end strategy with the launch of the updated Dell Wyse PocketCloud, which includes a "family of personal cloud apps" to deliver file sharing and remote desktop capabilities to Apple Inc. iOS, Google Inc. Android and now, Microsoft Corp. Windows RT devices.

The PocketCloud suite is a cloud-based series of applications designed to provide an alternative way to access files, folders and other critical information without requiring the use of any device-specific hardware or software. Now, those features can be  used from any Web browser.  PocketCloud Remote Desktop can also serve as portal for virtual desktop deployments thanks to VMware Inc. View compatibility.

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The PocketCloud updates are focused on:

  • PocketCloud Explore: The file accessibility and sharing client for the PocketCloud suite, already on iOS and Android, now on Windows RT.
  • PocketCloud Web: No tablet necessary, this new web-based version of PocketCloud provides a ubiquitous cloud by delivering all the perks of the PocketCloud Explore into the browser. With its focus on multimedia, this platform can also stream content and allow for the uploading of  content to the cloud from most computing locations.
  • Pocket Cloud Companion: Built for Mac or PC, this small client enables all the file sharing features of the aforementioned applications, plus allows for remote desktop capabilities from tablets and other smart devices. Dell has started shipping this standard on all XPS and Inspiron computers.

The applications are free to download now for subscribers of the PocketCloud service. Solution providers interested in providing a light-touch for BYOD for the SMB may find this an ideal balance of security and manageability, especially given its remote desktop capabilities.

The release is a continuation of Dell's efforts to bolster its cloud agenda and build upon its Wyse acquisition. It also lays the foundation for Dell to promote its own cloud ecosystem, similar to that of Microsoft's Skydrive and Apple's iCloud. Dell's efforts may also say something about Windows 8 RT.

Although Microsoft has built its own cloud and virtualization capabilities into the Windows RT platform, many major vendors are promoting their own remote capabilities as a the best way to use Microsoft's new Surface tablet. Notably, Citrix Systems Inc.'s was first to the scene with its Citrix Receiver application. VMWare is rumored to have an RT-version of VMware View waiting in the wings, similar to its offerings for Android and iOS.

The trend could indicate trouble for Microsoft as it tries to position Windows 8 as a viable desktop computing platform. If vendors build VDI applications to deliver Windows 7 desktops on Windows 8 devices, it no longer distinguishes Windows 8 tablets from iPads or Android tablets as the end result is the same. If those same vendors continue to offer portals on a platform, and not a native-platform based solution, Microsoft may have to work harder to differentiate its product, especially if it wants to make Windows 8 a true contender in the BYOD space -- a space increasingly linked with VDI.

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