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Interview: Symantec and Mozilla Firefox for HP Virtual Solutions

I recently attended the Symantec ManageFusion 2008 event in Orlando, Fla., and while at the show I was able to learn a lot more about Symantec's Endpoint Virtualization and use their SVS application virtualization product.

One of the cool things during the show was how Symantec showed off SVS in such a subtle way. In the event lounge, there were a number of HP workstations lined up for show attendees to use. These machines had a virtualized Firefox session on them, courtesy of Symantec and HP. This was great, because after each Internet session, it would securely clean things up before the next person jumped on, thanks to Symantec SVS containment.

During the show, I was fortunate enough to catch up with Scott Jones, technical product manager with Symantec Endpoint Virtualization. One of the great things about ManageFusion is the open access to team members like Scott. We had a great conversation about the show, but more importantly I wanted to find out more about what HP and Symantec were collaborating on.

Q: I see two stories here –- one is that HP is shipping Firefox pre-installed. That's news in itself. But for my audience, the more interesting part is that it's a virtualized client application. How did this come about?

A: HP is the hardware industry leader in virtualization and energy conservation in the datacenter. They are now extending that leadership to client computing via their Virtual Client Solutions and other initiatives. Mozilla Firefox for HP Virtual Solutions is a major step in that evolution. And having the Symantec virtualization agent pre-installed positions HP to do a lot of other interesting things down the road, not just the virtual browser.

Q: I assume there was some sort of competitive process to determine which virtualization product HP would use?

A: Absolutely. We were up against the other major vendors in the application virtualization category. Symantec won for a few reasons. Some were technical, like SVS' reset capability while preserving user settings and the competitive advantages we normally pitch. But I think Symantec's very strong existing alliance with HP had a lot to do with it as well. Altiris has a long history of going to market with HP successfully, and our catalog gives HP resellers a lot of up-sell options from the SVS Runtime that comes free with the PCs.

Read the rest of the interview at InfoWorld's Virtualization Report.

Published Friday, October 31, 2008 6:27 PM by David Marshall
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