In a recent blog, my colleague, Pete Downing, described how to leverage one of XenDesktop’s Local Modes, XenClient Enterprise, to migrate users off of Windows XP given its impending end of life early next year. If you are considering such a move, you’ve got the option to move your users either to Windows 7 or Windows 8 running as a guest VM on XenClient. We’ve supported Windows 7 for a while so, in this blog, I’ll highlight the capabilities of Windows 8 and 8.1.

Microsoft introduced Windows 8 in the fourth quarter of 2012 as an essential component of their mobility strategy. XenClient is a core component of XenDesktop and is a key pillar to Citrix’ enablement of mobile workstyles as well. Bringing XenClient and Windows 8 together provides a perfect complement enabling IT to centrally manage and update the Windows 8 image in the data center while giving users the power of local compute when offline.

The following features, introduced in XenClient 4.5 and XenClient 5, enable Windows 8 and touch-enabled desktops, laptops and all-in-ones:

  • XenClient paravirtualization tools for Windows 8 for enhanced in-guest performance
  • Windows 8 WDDM driver for improved 2D graphics performance
  • A full range of native device resolution capabilities
  • Dual monitor support for maximum productivity
  • In-guest multi-touch/gesture support for one VM by assigning the USB touch device to the VM
  • Image mode support for Personal vDisk (PvD), Shared and Custom images, delivered and managed by the Synchronizer to the XenClient platform

So, if you’re looking to deploy or even just evaluate Windows 8, we invite you to try it on XenClient as a managed guest virtual machine. We’d like to hear your feedback regarding your timelines for Windows 8 deployment within your organization and on what devices you’re deploying it. And here’s a XenClient hardware compatibility list to help you get started.

Join the conversation by connecting with the Citrix XenClient team online!