This has been a tremendous month for Citrix. A few weeks ago, we acquired RingCube, a leader in user personalization technology for virtual desktops. Then, just this week, we announced XenDesktop 5.5 which raises the bar for desktop virtualization. Now, given my background (I was an analyst at Forrester Research for 7 years) I don’t use those words lightly. I do my research to determine if we really did up the ante here…I can honestly say yes! Here is what gives me the conviction to say this:

  1. The new features in XenDesktop are directly tied to customer requirements: Desktop virtualization is a great technology for so many reasons – and it is getting more affordable every day. With XenDesktop 5.5, we added “Personal vDisk” technology to accomplish two things: 1) true user personalization of their VDI-based desktop by enabling users to change settings (apps and OS) and install their own applications on a pooled desktop image and 2) lower costs of VDI-based desktops by allowing businesses to give a “dedicated” desktop feel while only requiring the storage of a pooled desktop. In addition, the 150 user experience enhancements as part of HDX will allow support for Microsoft RemoteFX, faster printing and scanning, faster app launch, and flexible new Quality of Service controls to ensure superior user experience in all network conditions. These enhancements are here today to address the challenges of our largest customers and those skeptics that have not yet gone enterprise-wide with desktop virtualization. And, they love them! (see the videos on our What’s New page) 
  2. Press and analysts are talking about Citrix as the leader in desktop virtualization: Look at just a couple of the quotes from press and industry analysts about XenDesktop 5.5. In an article on SearchVirtualDesktop.com, Bridget Botelho writes “One desktop virtualization consultant said the breadth of improvements in XenDesktop 5.5 put Citrix strides ahead of the competition in the desktop virtualization race.” In another article entitled Citrix Revolutionizes The Virtual Desktop, Steve Wexler interviewed Gartner Research VP Chris Wolf who said “Citrix is continuing to raise the bar in terms of the desktop virtualization feature set and is being very aggressive to give customers what they want”. He went on to say “Many Gartner clients considered basic personalization a required feature, and Citrix is the first vendor to deliver on this. This isn’t just a checkbox. The personalization layer provided by RingCube can considerably reduce virtual desktop storage costs, as well as offer significant Opex savings. The impact is significant in terms of both Opex and Capex, both of which have been barriers to virtual desktop adoption.”

    Combine this with a recent IDC report that positioned Citrix as the only vendor in the leaders category of its MarketScape thanks to a comprehensive technology set and a strong strategic vision of where it will take its desktop virtualization portfolio. While I could go on, the point is that the XenDesktop team is listening to customers and adding the functionally (through internal development, acquisitions and partnerships) to deliver customers everything they need to have the highest performance, virtual desktop solution for every user in the organization.
  3. The ecosystem continues embrace and extend XenDesktop: We can’t do this alone. To deliver on your requirements, we work with the leaders in their fields to ensure the best possible virtual desktop experience. Below, you will hear directly from our partners about how excited they are about XenDesktop 5.5 and how we are working together to meet customers’ requirements in all areas.
    – AppDNA: Citrix XenDesktop 5.5 Advances Further, Bringing the Reality of Anytime, Anywhere, Any device Access to Organizations
    – AppSense: User Virtualization and Layers – Better Together
    – Cisco: Citrix putting the “Personal” back into the Corporate PC
    – Dell: The Release of Citrix XenDesktop 5.5 Means Great Things for our Customers
    – HP: Add Pizzazz to HP VDI with Citrix XenDesktop 5.5
    – Intel: Intelligent Clients and XenDesktop 5.5 Improve User Experience and IT Control
    – Microsoft: Leveraging Desktop Virtualization in Your Windows 7 Deployment
    – RES Software:  The Torch has been Passed on to a New Generation
    – Wyse: Wyse is Ready for Citrix XenDesktop 5.5. Are you?

It is the collective goal of all of us, to deliver the most scalable, most cost-effective, most personal, most secure, highest performance, most efficient, most collaborative, most thin, most intelligent, most end-to-end, and most flexible desktop virtualization solutions to our customers. Together, Citrix and its most strategic partners, are working to change how desktops and applications are delivered…and its working. Together, we are making all your requirements for a virtual desktop possible. Together, we’re giant 🙂