Thank you, customers, for your perfect timing!

Just in time for our Citrix Synergy 2017 conference in Orlando this week, we hit a major milestone in adoption of the HDX RealTime Optimization Pack for Skype for Business that Citrix and Microsoft co-developed during 2015 and launched in January 2016.

As measured by Microsoft telemetry, there are now over 200,000 Daily Active Users of the joint solution! This is a huge achievement that reflects the strength of the Citrix and Microsoft partnership and joint efforts of both engineering teams. “Today, Skype for Business has only been optimized and in production, fully released, for the Xen family. So you get this beautiful experience whether you’re centralized or distributed,” said Brad Anderson, CVP, Enterprise Mobility at Microsoft, in announcing this accomplishment during the Synergy Technical Keynote.

Today, Skype for Business has only been optimized and in production, fully released, for the Xen family. So you get this beautiful experience whether you’re centralized or distributed.

The benefits of virtualizing Skype for Business are powerful. Chat logs full of confidential information, file transfers containing sensitive intellectual property, contact lists with private customer and employee information; all of this data can be kept safe in the data center or Cloud rather than on user devices. SmoothRoaming gives users agility and the flexibility to work from anywhere. And centralization, with tools for provisioning and app layering, simplifies administration.

Reaching 200,000 Daily Active Users was possible thanks to interoperability in very complex, large enterprise environments that include a multitude of third-party products. Headsets, handsets and speakerphones. Webcams, including models that support H.264 hardware encoding. Thin clients running Linux, Windows and Wyse ThinOS. Apple Macs. Conference bridges and gateway. Audio recording solutions.

Take the “simple” requirement of supporting conference calls and Skype Meetings. It may seem basic, but interop with the Skype for Business Audio-Video Conferencing Server, which our solution has offered since Day 1, is complex and no other Desktop Virtualization vendor offers it. For example, a competitor recently announced that they will be introducing a virtualization solution for Skype for Business, but it is limited to two-party calls. In contrast, the Citrix HDX RealTime Optimization Pack supports conference calls and Skype Meetings not only with Microsoft’s Skype for Business A-V Conferencing Server but also with third-party MCUs that offer additional capabilities such as transcoding.

What’s next? We will soon begin the private beta program for our next release, featuring Simulcast Video support, an important advance to ensure optimal video quality during Skype Meetings. And this week at Synergy we announced a collaboration with Google and Intel to optimize Skype for Business for Chromebooks, a very attractive solution for mobile workers.

To see a demo of the Citrix HDX RealTime Optimization Pack on a Linux thin client and the HDX Raspberry Pi, and hear Jay Emery of Anheuser-Busch InBev share how they are benefiting from the Optimization Pack, check out our joint video webcast, recorded at the Irvine Microsoft Technology Center, here.  You can also find more customer testimonies in ESG’s whitepaper, here.

If you want to virtualize Skype for Business, look no further than Citrix, the only virtualization vendor with a comprehensive, field-proven solution. Try the Optimization Pack today if you are a XenApp or XenDesktop customer (find it here after login), else register for the trial at

Derek Thorslund
Director of Product Management, HDX