Telefónica buys cloud desktop startup eyeOS

The Spanish telecoms giant Telefónica(s tef) has acquired eyeOS, the Barcelona-based desktop virtualization company, for an undisclosed amount.

The deal will allow Telefónica to offer its small business and public administration customers an open-source, HTML5-friendly desktop virtualization service that works on mobile devices as well as desktops. The two companies have already been collaborating since 2010 on the eyeOS Web Desktop, which allows virtual desktop delivery through any HTML5 browser.

The big advantages of taking the browser approach to desktop-as-a-service/desktop virtualization/VDI/cloud desktops (or whatever we’re calling it these days) is that users don’t need to install anything extra to access the virtual desktop. VMware(s vmw) is pushing the same agenda these days with its post-Desktone-buy Horizon DaaS product, as is Citrix(s ctxs) with XenDesktop.

The eyeOS Web Engine comprises a KVM hypervisor (allowing the running of both Windows(s msft) and Linux virtual machines), Red Hat(s rht)’s SPICE remoting protocol and eyeOS’s Web connector, while the management of virtual machines can be handled by OpenStack, IBM(s ibm) PureFlex or the Red Hat-originated oVirt platform.

EyeOS also claims low latency and bandwidth consumption, which are major considerations when it comes to accessing virtual desktops over cellular connections, such as those provided by Telefónica.

According to a statement from eyeOS co-founder Pau Garcia-Milà, the deal will “help eyeOS to not only consolidate and expand its technological proposal, but give it international reach through Telefónica’s global network.”

Garcia-Milà will apparently “remain connected to the innovative processes of the company” but will not actually join Telefónica as such. Current eyeOS CEO Michel Kisfaludi will continue to lead Telefónica’s new subsidiary.