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VMware to buy mobile security firm AirWatch for $1.97b

Published on Jan 23, 2014 6:53 AM

(REUTERS) - Cloud software maker VMware Inc said it would buy privately held mobile security company AirWatch for US$1.54 billion (S$1.97 billion) to tap into rising demand from companies to secure the smartphones and tablets used by employees.

While some analysts view the deal as a threat to BlackBerry Ltd, which has long been the go-to for companies looking for security products, others say the deal could spur more acquisitions in the mobile security market.

VMware itself has entered this market recently. Its main business is making virtualisation software, which creates a virtual machine that acts like a real computer. This helps companies cut IT costs by saving on server and storage space.

"AirWatch will be the centre of our mobile activities," chief executive Pat Gelsinger told Reuters. "We are really bringing together the strength we have in PCs and desktops with AirWatch's in the mobility space."

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