Citrix personalizes, extends virtual desktops

Citrix XenDesktop 5.5 features desktop personalization and wide area network access

Working to boost the versatility and speed of virtual desktops, Citrix Systems has updated its XenDesktop software to allow users to personalize their desktops, as well as offer the ability to access their desktops over wide area networks (WANs), the company announced Wednesday.

"There are a lot of nuances you have to work through when you give someone a personal desktop, and with this release, we are delivering that at no extra charge," said John Fanelli, Citrix's vice president for enterprise desktops and applications.

XenDesktop is Citrix's server software for delivering virtual desktops over a network to individual users. The new release, Citrix XenDesktop 5.5, has over 150 new features and improvements. "This is the largest release of XenDesktop in Citrix's history," Fanelli boasted.

This version is the first to incorporate the desktop personalization technology from Citrix's acquisition of RingCube earlier this month. This software allows users to customize their own personalized desktops, as well as allows organizations to embed departmental applications on these desktops. Earlier versions of this software could only serve up generic desktops, and any customizations made to them would not be saved after they were shut down.

The personalization technology, now branded "Personal vDisk" will be available as a separate download, and can be configured from within a menu option on the XenDesktop console, Fanelli said.

This is also the first version of XenDesktop that Citrix is advocating for use over WANs. Previous versions were more suited to deliver desktops over LANs (local area networks), but desktop performance proved too sluggish to try to run across longer distances. Citrix has improved its streaming protocol, HDX (High Definition User Experience), so that long-range streaming is now possible, Fanelli said. It can prioritize network traffic based on users, or the type of traffic that is being carried.

The performance improvement will now allow organizations to issue virtual desktops to workers at branch offices or those working at home, Fanelli said.

Performance has also been accelerated in a number of other ways as well. For instance, virtual desktops can now stream Flash content locally, rather than having it redirected through the desktop server. It now can support streaming voice and video traffic. It also supports Windows 7 Aero interface. Users can also print to local printers using software on the client, which will speed printing speeds sixfold.

Along with this XenDesktop release, Citrix has also updated the server client, Citrix Receiver. The client program now has customized interfaces for each operating system. The desktop on an Android-based tablet will have a different look and feel from a Microsoft Windows desktop, for instance.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags virtualizationCitrixdesktop virtualization

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Joab Jackson

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Shining a light on creativity

MSI has long pushed the boundaries of invention with its ever-evolving range of laptops but it has now pulled off a world first with the new MSI Creative 17.

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?