5. Hosted Virtual Desktop Providers

5.1 Citrix Systems


Citrix Systems Inc. is an American software company that provides several cloud computing technologies to over 330,000 organisations around the world. Founded in Texas in 1989 by Ed Lacobucci, the company is now based in Florida, California, and Santa Clara, and has over 8000 employees worldwide.

Citrix offers virtualised application, desktop, and server software for use on devices that can remotely connect to the software, such as PC’s, laptops, and tablets.

5.2 VMware Inc.

A subsidiary of American multinational corporation Dell Technologies since 2004, VMware provides platform virtualisation and cloud computing software and services from its headquarters in Palo Alto, California.

The company was founded in 1998 by Diane Greene, Edouard Bunion, Ellen Wang, Mendel Rosenblum and Scott Devine to release its first product in the following year, the VMware Workstation, which used hypervisors to set up virtual machines on a physical machine.

Today, VMware is known globally for its hypervisors.

5.3 Microsoft

Headquartered in Washington, the Microsoft corporation is a global entity that develops, manufactures, and supports computing software and hardware.

The company was officially established as Microsoft in 1975 by Paul Allen and Bill Gates. Their vision led to world renowned computer hardware such as the Microsoft Surface and Xbox video games consoles, and software such as the Microsoft Office Suite, Explorer and Edge web browsers, and the Windows operating system.

5.4 Amazon

Founded in 1994 by Jeff Bezos, the Seattle based multinational company Amazon.com, known as Amazon, is the largest internet retailer in the world in both market share and total sales. The company began by delivering and selling books, later expanding this service to include almost all popular consumer items enjoyed by people today, including: electronics, food, jewelry, furniture, and clothing.

5.5 Parallels

The American cloud and virtualisation company Parallels was founded in 1999 so offer products that allow multiple operating systems and desktop user interfaces to run on computers and laptops. Parallels Inc. was acquired by SWsoft in 2004, simultaneously releasing one of its flagship products, the Parallels Workstation. In 2008 Parallels was merged with SWsoft, becoming one company under Parallels branding.


Parallels is currently headquartered in Washington, and employs over 800 people across 15 global offices including the US, UK, Germany, France, Japan, China, and Russia.