VMware has launched a new product called Horizon Workspace, which aims to simplify the end user experience and reduce IT costs by combining data, applications and desktops into a single aggregated workspace that can be delivered on any device via a browser.

Horizon Workspace combines the application catalogue capabilities of Horizon Application Manager with the file sync and sharing capabilities of Horizon Data (previously known as Project Octopus).

Using Horizon Workspace, IT administrators can allocate data, applications or desktops to end-users or groups instead of their devices. Meanwhile, end-users can self-provision corporate applications and services to reduce the burden on IT.

Horizon Workspace also enables companies to easily add new devices, users or applications without having to reconfigure the devices or end-points. Centralised management simplifies the enforcement and management of user policies so the solution is always safe and secure.

“Workspace becomes the place where you spend your working day essentially, so within that Workspace you have access to all of the resources that you need to do your job – whether it be files, applications or physical devices,” said Gary Owen, senior product marketing manager for End User Computing, EMEA.

“You're no longer worried about Windows desktop, or any of those things that would normally be there, you simply stay within that workspace all that time, and because that workspace is accessible via a browser, that's what gives you the device independence, because you can access exactly the same resources, irrespective of the device that you're using.”

Owen added that Workspace has the same look and feel, irrespective of the device the user is accessing it from. This can boost productivity because the user does not need to learn how to operate multiple platforms.

Horizon Workspace will become the third element in VMware's Horizon Suite, which the company describes as “a comprehensive platform for workforce mobility that will connect end-users to their data, applications and desktops on any device without sacrificing IT security and control”.

As part of this, VMware is launching a new version of Horizon View that enables access to remote desktops using any HTML 5 capable browser, and also adds support for hardware accelerated 3D graphics, allowing the most graphically intensive applications to run inside virtual desktops

Meanwhile, an updated version of Horizon Mirage gives IT the ability to update individual layers without disruption to the other, thereby ensuring end-user data and applications are up to date.

Together, these three elements give users the flexibility to access their applications through any device, and enable IT managers to manage everything from a central hub.

Commenting on the news, Gordon McMullan, acting chief technology officer at Jaguar Land Rover Automotive, said that VMware's Horizon suite will allow the company to design systems and policies assuming that everyone is mobile.

“This will dramatically improve collaboration and productivity of our global workforce,” he said.

VMware Horizon Suite is expected to be available in Q1 2013 and customers can choose whether to use the entire platform of integrated products or deploy specific capabilities.

Horizon View 5.2 will cost £170 per concurrent user, and both Horizon Mirage 4.0 and Horizon Workspace will cost £102 per named user (because they are designed to be device independent). VMware Horizon Suite will be licensed per named user with prices starting at £204.