Those of you that made it our Synergy customer event in Vegas last month saw the unveiling of Citrix Dazzle. We promised to get a tech preview out to you soon and we are delivering ahead of schedule. V1 is currently slated for later this year, but you can download the tech preview starting today.

The concept of a self-service storefront had a lot of appeal to customers at Synergy. The truth is that administrators want to talk to their users even less than users want to call the helpdesk. Users like being able to pick and choose applications for themselves, especially if it’s so simple that they don’t need training. At Synergy, I didn’t give “demos”, per se. I gave the mouse to ordinary users and they were able to figure it out by themselves.

The Admins I spoke with are just as excited. Of course they like the idea of spending fewer resources on the helpdesk, but many of them see Dazzle as a way to re-brand IT inside their organization. Rather than being perceived as an impediment, Dazzle allows them to position themselves as a service provider to their business units that enables 24×7 self-service access to employees for the applications they need to work.

Seeing is believing and there are a couple of different ways to try Dazzle out for yourself. The first is by signing up for a demo via the Citrix Cloud. Register at for a customized demo or you can also download it and try it in your own environment. By far the easiest way is to get Dazzle is through the automated update service included in Receiver’s Merchandising Server. You can set up the Merchandising Server to let you know when updates like Dazzle are available. Pick the ones you want and the Merchandising Server will download them. If you aren’t taking advantage of this yet, you can always download it manually here.

This tech preview is just for Windows (Vista 7 & XP. Sorry no Win 7. Yet), but we are also working on versions for Mac and the Web. Part of the value-add for users is a consistent platform that will synchronize your apps across all platforms.

You can learn more about Dazzle here. I’d love to hear what you think of Dazzle after taking it for a spin.