Customer demand for virtual desktops continues to grow and the opportunity for Citrix partners is better than ever. If you’re not talking to customers about virtual desktops, well then, you’re just missing out in my opinion. And, unless you’ve been living under a rock you know that XenDesktop 4 was launched last October to rave reviews from industry press, analysts and customers. We even won an InfoWorld 2010 Technology of the Year award!

To further highlight this growing opportunity, today Citrix is making some key strategic announcements in partnership with Microsoft. These announcements reinforce how Microsoft and Citrix are working together to deliver a complete virtual desktop solution. In addition, we are making it extremely attractive for you, our partner, to help customers try the power of virtual desktops with little to no investment.

First, customers can get started for only $28 per user with our VDI Kick Start Offer. The offer includes Citrix XenDesktop VDI Edition and Microsoft VDI Suite Standard Edition. This is all the required software you need to deliver 250 virtual desktops for 1 full year. This is the perfect opportunity to build a proof-of-concept and help customers experience the benefits of a high definition user experience and a complete management stack.

Second, we want to make it easy for you to help anyone who has tried other VDI products and not found them to be as feature rich and as functional. For these customers we’re introducing the Rescue for VMware VDI promotion. If you have any VMware VDI product licenses, including older versions of those products, you can trade-in up to 500 of those licenses for Citrix XenDesktop and Microsoft VDI Suite at 100% off the list price!

Please refer to the details of these promotions posted here.

So, why should you care? As a Citrix and Microsoft partner, this is a great chance to talk with customers and educate them on the benefits of virtual desktops from Citrix and Microsoft. Think about how many customers are looking at Windows 7 migrations and PC refresh? You can show them how to leverage their existing investments in infrastructure, deploy Windows 7, extend the useful life of new client devices and deliver IT as an on-demand service. You get to be the first solution provider to show them a complete solution for users of all types: Hosted, Local, Remote, Online or Offline. Anywhere on any device goes without saying, we’re Citrix after all. This is your chance to lead the way and grow your business with two companies committed to partnering with you.

Your first step to getting started is to attend today’s Desktop Virtualization Hour, hosted by Microsoft. To participate, simply go to Desktop Virtualization Hour at 9am PST; 12:00pm EST. In this interactive session, you’ll hear more about our joint announcements, learn from a panel of customers, and have access to videos, offers, and on-demand sessions. If you miss today’s session, information will be available online at the above links and in the Citrix Partner Portal, My Citrix, to help you learn more.

Finally, reach out to your Citrix and Microsoft field representatives. Any reason to call them is a good one, but this is a GREAT one!