Part of delivering a great user experience is minimizing the wait time between clicking on Print and seeing the first page come out of the printer. That’s become more challenging to achieve because just as Windows desktops and apps have become increasingly graphical, so have the documents we create and print. PowerPoint slide decks and pdf files are often crammed with graphical images, and sending those over a WAN connection to a printer at a branch office or other remote location hasn’t always been as fast as we’d like. So to tackle this issue and other printing-related challenges, our HDX engineering team has been busy working on project Laser, and you’ll see the first results of this effort in this quarter’s XenDesktop 5 release and version 12.1 of the Citrix Receiver’s online plug-in for Windows.

Project Laser, one of the HDX Nitro technologies, introduces advances to HDX Plug-n-Play that dramatically speed up the delivery of large, graphical print jobs over the network. Employing techniques such as image compression and redundant image removal, the optimized EMF universal print driver is capable of reducing graphical print files to 10% of their original size or less. And XPS universal print driver enhancements include a native XPS print consumer for Windows 7 clients.

Administrators are empowered with new policy settings to manage print job size and image quality. In addition, HDX Plug-n-Play now automatically discovers printers when they are plugged in or wirelessly connected to the network, creating printer connections in real time. And printers created by roaming XenDesktop VDI users are immediately reflected in upstream XenApp sessions.

The waiting is over!

Derek Thorslund
Citrix Product Strategist, HDX