I’ve had questions from customers and have seen some musings on social media about a VMware End of Availability Notice (EOA) for VMware ThinApp. I thought I might set the record straight here. The EOA notice is posted on the VMware ThinApp How To Buy page, with a PDF FAQ document here: http://www.vmware.com/files/pdf/thinapp/VMware-ThinApp-EOA-FAQ.pdf. From the How to Buy page, we read that ThinApp will no longer be available as of December 15, 2013, with no orders for ThinApp being accepted after that date. This is crappy wording by VMware.
ThinApp is not being discontinued! The current stand-alone licensing scheme for ThinApp client licenses and the ThinApp Suite (including ThinApp client licenses, ThinApp packager, and VMware Workstation) are being discontinued. ThinApp as a technology is alive and well, and is more important than ever with the launch of VMware View 5.2, VMware Horizon Workspace, and VMware Mirage – products all capable of delivering ThinApp virtualized software into the end user computing environments that they support. For those who have heard me speak on VMware’s end user computing solutions at VMUG’s, VMware Knowledge Series, or Clearpath events know that ThinApp is an important element in the abstraction or decoupling of the apps that our users care about, and the Windows OS as the tool that we still need to run those apps. Decoupling enterprise apps from traditional workstations is a huge part of enabling bring your own device (BYOD) and the shift from IT servicing devices to IT delivering services to our users. ThinApp isn’t going anywhere.
What is changing is how you buy ThinApp. As of December 15, 2013, you will no longer be able to buy ThinApp as a stand-alone solution. It will only be available for purchase through the acquisition of VMware Horizon View (ThinApp is already included in VMware View Premier bundles), VMware Horizon Workspace, or VMware Horizon Mirage licensing. All three of these solutions are included in the VMware Horizon Suite bundled licensing. If you have stand-alone ThinApp today, you can continue to use it and get support until the published end of support date. After December 15, you will not be able to buy stand-alone licensing for ThinApp – if you want stand-alone licensing or need to renew a VMware support agreement, get a quote and buy it now.
Horizon View, Horizon Workspace, and Horizon Mirage all have the ability to push ThinApp packages to the endpoints that they manage, so it makes sense to bundle ThinApp with these solutions. I do have mixed feelings on dropping stand-alone licensing for ThinApp as I’ve had several instances where the problem required only ThinApp. I’ve also grown accustomed to having ThinApp packages of my common apps sitting in a DropBox share so they are always available no matter where I work. But as I think about it, that’s the point. Users shouldn’t be maintaining their own apps – IT should be delivering them as a service, keeping apps patched, fast, easily accessible. And that’s just what the Horizon suite of products is about – all apps and user data delivered where, when and how our users are demanding them. I guess we really are on the horizon of something really cool in end user computing, so long as IT is willing to rise to the challenge of new demands and new technologies that strike a balance between end-user freedom and IT control.