December’s 2.4 release of the HDX RealTime Optimization Pack for Skype for Business is our first Long-Term Service Release (LTSR) of this popular Enterprise and Platinum edition feature, co-developed by Citrix and Microsoft. Over 400,000 workers are using the Optimization Pack for audio and telephony or desktop video each day, as measured by Microsoft telemetry. It is field-proven in very large and complex enterprise deployments. And so, many customers have eagerly anticipated the LTSR, as they wish to retain the current stable and robust feature set for an extended period, and limit future upgrades to only quality improvements and security updates. CTX200466 provides the details of our lifecycle plans for the Optimization Pack. 

Optimization Pack 2.4 also introduces support for the HDX Ready Pi. Based on the Raspberry Pi 3, the HDX Ready Pi provides a very economical option for delivering virtual desktops, with a list price of under US$100 in quantity. The CPU is a 1.2 GHz ARM Cortex-A53, delivering great performance for its price point but significantly less powerful than the processors found in typical laptops and PCs. This first release of our HDX RealTime Media Engine for the Pi supports the single-monitor configuration and uses Adaptive Display and the on-chip Broadcom OMX H.264 encoder to deliver up to 640×360 video resolution (nHD), send and receive.

What’s next? Our team is busy working on an HDX RealTime Media Engine for Android-capable Chromebooks, in partnership with Google and Intel. And, of course, we plan to support Skype for Business Server 2019, which Microsoft announced is coming later this year. Also, as I announced in my previous blog post, our partnership with Microsoft continues as we collaborate to virtualize Teams, the new “Intelligent Communications” client for Office 365 that will converge the real-time audio-video and telephony features of Skype for Business with persistent chat and threaded chat to create a unified user experience. Exciting times ahead!

Derek Thorslund
Director of Product Management

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