Google could match Amazon and Microsoft with virtual desktop tool, but keeps it for employees only

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Thomas Kurian, main enforcement serviceman of unreality services astatine Google LLC, speaks during the Google Cloud Next '19 lawsuit successful San Francisco, California, U.S., connected Tuesday, April 9, 2019. The league brings unneurotic manufacture experts to sermon the aboriginal of unreality computing.

Michael Short | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Google maintains a portion of software, Cloudtop, that employees usage to entree interior programs. It's the benignant of happening that mightiness beryllium adjuvant for companies that privation to support their employees productive arsenic they enactment from location portion sheltering successful spot to debar further dispersed of the coronavirus.

However, erstwhile Google's unreality customers inquire for a virtual desktop solution, Google refers them to third-party solutions instead, according to 2 radical acquainted with the company's unreality business, who asked for anonymity discussing interior concern matters.

Google's attack stands successful crisp opposition to marketplace leaders Amazon and Microsoft. Both person their ain virtual-desktop services, and some person seen an uptick successful usage during the pandemic. For galore companies navigating distant enactment astatine standard for the archetypal time, relying connected unreality providers to woody with infrastructure is easier than keeping administrators connected tract to negociate servers — oregon mailing PCs to caller employees.

For instance, aft Zoom saw a surge successful caller customers during the pandemic, the video-calling bundle institution signed up for much than 1,000 Amazon WorkSpaces virtual desktops for its assistance table employees, Amazon said successful November. In May, AWS said lipid and state pipeline relation TC Energy had signed up for Amazon WorkSpaces truthful employees could securely enactment from home.

For Microsoft, the roar was important capable that CEO Satya Nadella mentioned it connected the company's quarterly net telephone with analysts past April. "Usage of Windows Virtual Desktop tripled this quarter, arsenic organizations deploy virtual desktops and apps connected Azure to alteration unafraid distant work," Nadella said.

No plans to marque Cloudtop disposable to customers

Google archetypal made its Cloudtop work disposable to employees successful 2017. It's meant to assistance them physique software, interact with interior systems and pass done net relay chat, oregon IRC. The work offers desktops moving the Linux and Windows operating systems, which tin travel successful useful for investigating root code.

In erstwhile years, Google has impressed the information-technology manufacture by taking bundle that it relies connected for its halfway net businesses and making them disposable for outsiders to use. It released the Cloud Bigtable and Cloud Spanner databases aft describing the architecture of the underlying bundle successful world papers, for instance.

Google published a paper connected its virtual-desktop bundle successful 2018. Over 25% of Google employees usage virtual desktops, and Google migrated the bundle to its nationalist unreality from its firm infrastructure to amended the idiosyncratic acquisition and alteration the full outgo of ownership, according to the paper.

But that hasn't translated into a merchandise for outsiders.

A Google spokesperson said the institution recognizes the accrued request for virtual desktops arsenic radical enactment remotely, but it does not presently program to connection Cloudtop arsenic a unreality service. Instead, the institution prioritizes its offerings from 3rd parties successful the virtual desktop marketplace -- Telus uses a merchandise from privately held Itopia connected Google's cloud, portion Equifax relies connected Citrix bundle connected the Google cloud, for instance. Other customers usage a merchandise from privately held Workspot.

Promoting products from partners gives clients the quality to widen technologies they usage successful their information centers into the nationalist cloud, and customers won't get locked successful to a proprietary service, the spokesperson said.

These products person gained momentum since the coronavirus appeared. In 2020 gross maturation from Citrix's Workspace segment, which includes its virtual-desktop software, accelerated to astir 13% twelvemonth implicit year, compared with 5% successful the anterior year. It's profitable revenue, too: Citrix reported a gross borderline of astir 85%, higher than 97% of companies successful the S&P 500 index, according to FactSet.

That maturation does payment Google to immoderate degree: The institution takes a 20% chopped of the fees that 3rd parties complaint customers.

But nary of the third-party options is simply a smash hit, according to the 2 radical acquainted with the company's unreality business.

"It was a small spot astonishing that Google wasn't much contiguous successful that market," said Michael Silver, an expert astatine exertion probe steadfast Gartner who has covered the category. "I don't cognize wherefore it wasn't."

WATCH: Google Cloud's Thomas Kurian connected the aboriginal of unreality computing