Earlier today, at Citrix Synergy in Berlin, Citrix announced XenDesktop 5, which is scheduled for availability in December, 2010. Naturally, we went looking for the “what’s new” list. You can find that list on the Citrix Web site, but, just to save you a few clicks, here’s our take on it.
Most of the user-facing features are evolutionary, as opposed to revolutionary. There have been incremental improvements in devices supported by the Citrix Receiver, the performance of Citrix HDX, user self-service provisioning, and single sign-on. There is also support for XenClient and XenVault, which were recently made available for download as part of XenDesktop 4, Feature Pack 2. But the truly revolutionary, knock-your-socks-off features are on the management side.
Installation and deployment of a large XenDesktop environment is now a snap using the new Desktop Studio tool. Since a video is worth a thousand words, check out the following video demo of Desktop Studio:
But wait! That’s not all! There’s something here for the help desk staff as well, and this may be the coolest part of all. Take a look at a demo of the new Desktop Director tool:
One of Citrix’s stated goals with XenDesktop 5 is to take VDI from “wow” to “how” – to show you how to easily install, scale, and manage a desktop virtualization deployment. Desktop Studio and Desktop Director are huge steps in that direction.