March 7, 2008 / 9:30 PM / 11 years ago

UPDATE 1-Sun Microsystems to sell 'virtual' Windows PCs

BOSTON, March 7 (Reuters) - Sun Microsystems Inc JAVA.O plans to introduce software and hardware to create “virtual” Windows and Linux personal computers that can be accessed via desktop machines, laptops and cell phones, a company executive said on Friday.

“We are going to announce (it) soon,” said Steve Wilson, a Sun vice president involved in the project.

Companies will host the PCs on server computers at data centers using software that Sun has developed. They can be accessed via a $200 desktop hardware package from Sun, which includes a monitor, he said.

“It gives you instant access anywhere,” he said.

He discussed the product in an interview with Reuters.

Sun will be joining Citrix Systems Inc (CTXS.O), VMware Inc (VMW.N) and several privately held companies that hope to establish footholds in the fledgling field of virtual personal computing.

VMware has already turned its technology for virtual servers into a business that generates sales of about $350 million in its most recent quarter. Now companies are looking to build the same kind of industry out of virtual PCs.

One selling point of virtual PCs is that businesses can manage them from centralized data centers, instead of requiring techs to travel to locations where workers access their computers.

They promise that hardware, such as Sun’s $200 desktop, will be cheaper than a typical PC.

Plans call for workers to access their virtual machines from multiple pieces of hardware. So rather than an employee syncing a desktop PC with a laptop, he or she can access the same virtual PC from both pieces of equipment, or even from a cell phone or Blackberry. (Reporting by Jim Finkle; Editing by Andre Grenon)

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