EarthLink, best known as an Internet service provider (ISP) for the masses, has spent 2012 thus far making some serious plays for the services market, launching managed security and virtualization offerings. And now, EarthLink has announced a partnership with independenceIT, enabling customers to take advantage of cloud-hosted virtual desktops.

The partnership, which enables EarthLink Business IT Services to offer independenceIT's Total Freedom Workspace and Instant Freedom Workspace virtual desktop solutions, enables customers to get access to their data in their applications, all the time. In the press release, EarthLink positions it as a perfect start for a cloud migration.

The independenceIT virtual desktops can be customized with any number of off-the-shelf business applications, ISV titles and so on. And an interesting side note, this solution involves hosting independenceIT's virtual desktops from EarthLink's own infrastructure-as-a-service and managed data center portfolios, with independenceIT becoming an EarthLink Technology Partner.

“Mobility and on-demand access to key applications and company information is the hallmark of today’s business world. Small and midsized businesses need affordable IT solutions that give them these advantages," said independenceIT CEO and Chairman Anthony Whitton in a prepared statement.

Back in June 2011, independenceIT launched a channel program, citing increased demand in the market for virtual desktop solutions. And if a big-time company like EarthLink is signing on, well, what does that tell you?