VMware has acquired Wanova, a developer of software used to centralize and simplify image management on physical and virtual desktops, the company said Tuesday. The combination of VMware's virtual desktop platform View and Wanova's cloud-based management and recovery product Mirage will help expand the operational benefits of central image management, wrote VMware's Scott Davis, CTO for VMware's End User Computing business unit, in a blog post. Both View and Mirage provides centralized desktop image management, with advantages such as making it easier to install patches. The key difference is that VMware View images execute on servers in the data center and use a remote graphics protocol for the user interface, while Mirage images are transmitted and cached locally for runtime execution on the client, according to Davis. Mirage can be used for a number of different tasks, including making OS migration easier. Mirage transfers the Windows 7 image to the endpoints and swaps out the XP image without requiring IT to touch the endpoints or use any external boot media, Wanova writes on its website. The software can also be used to backup an entire PC, and then restore personal applications and files to any compatible replacement hardware. For VMware, Mirage and the underlying technology will be a "great building block for delivering Windows applications as a service through Horizon", Davis wrote. Horizon is VMware's platform for the post-PC era, where users are allowed to bring their own devices to work. The Horizon Application Manager unifies the management of any software-as-a-service, web and Windows applications through a catalog, and delivers the applications to end-users on the device of their choice, according to VMware. VMware didn't provide any details of when the first results will become available, nor any financial details of the deal. The company's VMworld user conference will take place at the end of August in San Francisco.