Customer interest in investigating desktop virtualization is extremely high – actually, several customers go further to tell me that virtualizing the desktops is a top priority this year with Windows 7. And the technology is now ready for customers to adopt desktop virtualization. However, the challenge customers are having is not really a technology one – it is that they are waiting – waiting for budgets, VMware vs. Citrix/Microsoft, etc. Several companies have allocated budget for Windows 7 and many of you are looking for the next generation desktop architecture. Because of this, and the true urgency of the desktop decision that you may be facing, we made some key strategic announcements in partnership with Microsoft for virtual desktops. Here is an update for what’s new

One of the key announcements was a couple of limited-time product offers for virtual desktops; they are desgined so all of you can dive into desktop virtualization this year. These offers fall into two camps: 1) for those new to virtual desktops and 2) for those that have already tried virtual desktops with VMware and are struggling to make the solution work to meet your needs. Our hope is that with these two offers, we will help you become successful, quickly, with your desktop transformation so you can start using the power of virtual desktops for your environments.

For those of you new to virtual desktops and have been wondering what to do, the VDI Kick Start Program is the place for you to start. If you have been worried about long, tenuous budget approval processes for large sums of money just to enable your users to try out virtual desktops, VDI Kick Start Offer is perfect for you. With VDI Kick Start, you can start with virtual desktops now for only $28 per user for the first 250 users for one year. The VDI Kick Start Offer delivers the award winning XenDesktop VDI Edition and Microsoft VDI Suite Standard Edition. For just $7,000 you can start experiencing virtual desktops for 250 users for 1 full year. It is an excellent way to let users experience the power of virtual desktops – enabling them to use any device, anywhere, LAN or WAN while ensuring centralized management and security. XenDesktop VDI Edition and Microsoft VDI Suite Standard Edition are perfect starting points for virtual desktops – and inclue all the technologies required to make your virtual desktop implementation successful. You get the key Microsoft platform technologies – Hyper-V, App-V and System Center virtual machine manager; and the XenDesktop delivery solution that includes HDX high definition user experience and image management for optimizing storage.

Now, some of you have already attempted to implement virtual desktops with other VDI products and have not had significant success. Perhaps it is because desktop virtualization holds a different priority for someone like VMware – using a VDI product as a sweetener to sell server virtualization, rather than solving your desktop computing needs. And thus their products don’t deliver what your users demand. As a result, I have run into several customers of these VDI products that are facing poor experience and are struggling with stalled implementations and failed pilots. To help all of these customers to get back on their VDI track, Citrix & Microsoft are offering Rescue for VMware VDI Offer. If you have any VMware View product licenses, including any of the previous versions, such as VDM, you can now trade in up to 500 of VMware licenses for Citrix XenDesktop and Microsoft VDI Suite FOR FREE. This means you can restart your desktop transformation using virtual desktops by giving users a high definition experience regardless of their location and device, and managing virtual desktops using the familiar System Center platform. This gives you time to evaluate your virtual desktop strategy and help you pick the solution that is right for you.

Here are some comments from Brad Anderson at Microsoft regardin the offers

Microsoft & Citrix are committed to helping our customers deliver the best desktop experience to their users and we believe that we can do this though the power of virtual desktops. While we know that VDI is not suitable for every user and thus will not solve all of your desktop challenges, we believe that it should be considered by every enterprise organization looking at the desktop of the future. Here is your opportunity to kick start or get rescued!

For more information, visit http://www.citrixandmicrosoft.com