Being a virtualization leader puts Citrix in a unique position.

On one hand are the hundreds of thousands of customers that have been using Citrix for decades, and continue to do so. They encourage us to push the envelope, and find ways to meet ever more complex use-cases.

On the other hand, there are brand new markets and customers that discover the joys of Citrix every day. They need a simple way to understand how to get started with virtual apps, without going too deep in the weeds.

So, how do we make these two ends of our customer spectrum happy in one fell swoop?

The latest XenApp and XenDesktop update–version 7.8–is one of my favorite releases to date. In my opinion, it does the best job of packing in all the features constantly demanded by our Fortune 500 customers, while appealing to a one-person IT department of a new organization just starting to test the waters.

I love the user friendly interface, which takes little more than a couple of hours from the point of mounting the DVD into your server to publishing your first “virtual” desktop (this assumes the infrastructure prerequisites are in place, of course).

Things like setting up the Citrix “site” or creating machines are simple, bite-sized tasks. Inline help and intuitive wizards guide you at every step. Most common configurations are now offered as default settings, so you are not stuck debating an unsure choice. Simply accept pre-populated fields to quickly build a working setup.

For example, connection to the integrated SQL Express database, creating a default Store, and selection of the Delivery Controller are all taken care of by those smart wizards. Once you develop some expertise, it’s only a few clicks to return and customize any configuration, as needed. The bottom-line: XenApp & XenDesktop 7.8 give you the smoothest possible learning curve to start your virtual workspace journey.

People might think EUC is short for “end user computing,” but Citrix customers know better. We all know it really stands for #EveryoneUsesCitrix.

With 7.8, you and yours will see just why #EveryoneUsesCitrix. Here are two step-by-step Reviewer’s Guides to walk you through the most basic flow and publish virtual apps and desktops from scratch. They have been among the top downloads from since we introduced them with release 7.0, facilitating hundreds of new administrators to complete self-service hands-on evaluations. Can you think of a more relaxing way to end a long week? 😉

It is available as part of the 90-day, 99-user FREE trial download, or standalone from the following links:

  1. XenApp Reviewer’s Guide (direct link); 90-day Free trial
  2. XenDesktop Reviewer’s Guide (direct link); 90-day Free trial

Wait, what if you are an old pro, waiting for this release to try out the hundreds of innovations added in the past year alone?

You are in for a treat

This release cracks the code and brings Citrix to many so-called “non VDI use-cases” that, historically, other vendors have stayed away from (and are no closer to an answer today).

With XenApp and XenDesktop 7.8, IT can now say “YES!” to any line of business, whether their customers are isolated on high packet-loss networks, or require real-time audio-video collaboration.

The popular Windows look-and-feel of Skype for Business can be extended to remote Mac or Linux users. An exclusive Microsoft plug-in only available for Citrix ensures high quality picture and sound, so remote users can truly collaborate in the digital workplace. Then there’s the game-changing Framehawk protocol, fully integrated into the core HDX stack.

Remote designers and developers working on complex 3D graphics enjoy a highly interactive experience, something they never imagined on network conditions best described as “tear-your-hair-out.” The list goes on with other high-value features like high performance GPU virtualization, virtual Linux desktops, upgrades to Windows 10, and even Windows Server 2016. All this is within reach of old, low-power thin-clients, keeping costs low while meeting expectations of a modern app experience. The full list of what’s new is on XenApp and XenDesktop product pages.

For an added weekend bonus, check out this quick video from my colleague, Allen Furmanski, for a look at how easy it is to set up the technical preview of Windows Server 2016 and evaluate it in non-production environments.

We hope you have as much fun evaluating these new products, as we had putting in all these cool features for you. If you’re interested to learn more, there’s a number of easy ways to dive in.

Attend Citrix Synergy 2016 in Las Vegas, meet the brains behind the magic in person!

Subscribe to a whole year’s worth of unlimited on-demand learning content for less than $2 per day!

Watch the free master-class videos and training snippets available on Citrix TV over at Youtube. 

What a great way to spend a weekend, eh? Leave a comment or tweet–you can find me @mayunkj or, of course, all of us @citrix–to let us know if the guides helped you, and what you’d like to see in future editions.