Faster, simpler and more powerful

 Citrix continues to echo its motto of delivering powerful and faster desktops in the simplest possible manner via XenDesktop. External devices continue to be an integral part of the desktops and user experience. As such, a lot of attention is given to enriching many aspects of device delivery including high quality experience and usability factors. XenDesktop 5.5 focuses on optimizing its delivery mechanism for devices using specialized virtual channels designed to be tolerant in high latency and bandwidth constrained networks.

Most devices these days come with USB interface, which offers ease of use and USB seems to be ubiquitous in the present and near future. USB devices come in a wide variety of functionality and packaging. Usually, these devices are classified under groups or classes representing their core functionality like video, audio, mass storage etc. XenDesktop 5.5 embeds intelligence in its software suite to select specialized virtual channels based on type of the device and this is enabled by default as “Simplify device connections for me” in the connection preferences UI.


USB Mass Storage devices are delivered inside the virtual desktop session as UNC links and the contents of the drive can be accessed similar to that of a regular directory or folder in the windows explorer shell. These special drives (UNC Links) are listed under “other” devices and bear icons representing the class of storage device like hard drive, CD/DVD, Floppy, Removable drives etc. to make it more intuitive inside the Windows explorer. The following figure gives the comparision between XenDesktop 5.0 and XenDesktop 5.5 for the client drive mapping.

Scanners and simple imaging device are delivered by a dedicated virtual channel offering high compression and low network bandwidth consumption still preserving high quality of scanned images. It supports scanner devices that are TWAIN protocol compliant. Applications inside the virtual desktop can work seamlessly with these devices.


WebCams and integrated/inbuilt cameras are now available to applications like Skype, Microsoft Lync, Citrix HD Faces, etc. within the virtual desktop offering high definition picture quality with optimal network bandwidth consumption.

These new enhancements for device integrations are a great example of why XenDesktop is the clear leader in desktop virtualization. when users plug in a device, the interface is intuitive and the quality is superior. Put simply, “it just works”.