Citrix Sets New Standard for Desktop Virtualization

Citrix XenDesktop 5.5 Enhances User Personalization and High-Definition Experience over the LAN or WAN

SANTA CLARA, Calif.--()--Citrix Systems today announced a new version of its market-leading Citrix XenDesktop® product line that adds major enhancements in personalization, user experience and rich consumer device support. The new XenDesktop 5.5 adds the “Personal vDisk” technology acquired earlier this month from RingCube (see the announcement) to all editions of XenDesktop, making it far easier for customers to deploy highly personalized virtual desktops at a substantially lower cost. XenDesktop 5.5 also features the most significant enhancement in company history to its market-leading Citrix HDX™ user experience technology, enabling customers to deliver high-definition virtual desktops up to three times faster for both LAN and WAN users. Using XenDesktop 5.5, customers can now build true “private desktop clouds” for the first time ever, delivering virtual desktops and apps with rich voice, video and multimedia support to more than one billion end user devices, even for the most challenging remote, branch and mobile users. (See announcement blog)

As the industry moves from the PC Era to the Cloud Era, virtual desktops are growing rapidly in popularity. IT organizations like the security, flexibility and cost-savings of delivering desktops as a centralized service, while end users like the ability to access corporate apps and desktops from any device, in any location. Addressing these market needs is one of the reasons Citrix was recently recognized as the only vendor in the Leaders category of the IDC MarketScape: Desktop Virtualization 2011 Vendor Analysis1.

Gartner expects mainstream adoption of hosted virtual desktops (HVDs) to take place in 2012 through 2014, with 70 million users by 20142. Driving broad mainstream adoption of desktop virtualization at this scale will require continued enhancements in personalization and user experience, along with continued reduction in deployment and operation costs. XenDesktop 5.5 raises the bar in all of these areas:

What’s New

  • Virtual Desktops Made Personal - XenDesktop 5.5 gives IT the ability to deliver personal VDI desktops through the innovative “Personal vDisk” technology acquired recently from RingCube. This technology is now available at no charge as an early access capability in all editions of XenDesktop 5.5, making it easy for customers to gain hands-on experience and begin pilot deployments. This new feature will enable broader enterprise-wide deployment of virtual desktops by storing a single copy of Windows centrally, and combining it with a personal vDisk for each employee’s personal apps, data and settings, enhancing user personalization and reducing storage costs. (See blog for additional details)
  • Raising the Bar on High-Definition User Experience - With more than 150 new features, XenDesktop 5.5 represents the most significant enhancement ever to Citrix HDX user experience technology. Central to the release is the ability to deliver virtual desktops over the WAN to mobile workers and branch office employees up to three times faster, at a fraction of the cost. Key enhancements include six times faster printing and scanning, two times faster app launch, and flexible new Quality of Service controls to ensure superior user experience in all network conditions. The new release also features significant multimedia, voice and video enhancements, including new Flash redirection technology that delivers stunning video and audio experience over the WAN at less than half the cost. (See blog for additional details)
  • Support for More than One Billion Devices Combined with the Citrix Receiver™ universal software client, XenDesktop 5.5 extends the company’s already significant lead in delivering apps and desktops to the widest possible range of end user devices. Using XenDesktop 5.5, customers can deliver self-service apps and desktops to more than one billion devices, including PCs, Macs, tablets, smartphones and thin clients – and all major device operating platforms, including new environments like Apple iOS, Google Android and Google ChromeOS. (See blog for additional details)
  • Unparalleled Native User Experience on Tablets and Smartphones Unlike competing products that offer only basic support for non-PC devices, XenDesktop 5.5 enables a rich, native experience on each unique device, including support for gestures and multi-touch features. This experience is also customized based on the type of device. Smartphone users, for example, tend to be document-centric. Instead of opening a full Windows desktop, they generally prefer to interact with individual files. Tablet users, by contrast, tend to be app-centric, preferring to launch individual applications, rather than navigating a full Windows desktop. In all cases, XenDesktop 5.5 enables a rich, native experience on each unique device, allowing users to access corporate apps and data in whatever way is most convenient and natural. No other desktop virtualization product in the industry comes close.
  • Millions More Laptops Supported with XenClient 2 – XenDesktop 5.5 also includes Citrix XenClient™ 2 as a standard feature (see XenClient tech preview announcement). XenClient extends the value of XenDesktop to millions of laptop users, enabling customers to manage desktops centrally, but execute them locally on client hypervisors rather than run directly on each laptop – even when disconnected from the network. The XenClient 2 technology includes a host of new enhancements that significantly expand hardware compatibility, deliver a simple user experience and enable larger more complex production deployments. (See blog for additional details)
  • Faster App Delivery with XenApp 6.5 - XenDesktop 5.5 includes the new Citrix XenApp™ 6.5 as an integrated feature. XenApp 6.5 delivers applications with the same high-definition experience as desktops delivered via XenDesktop. In addition, end-users benefit from the new Instant App Access feature that reduces application launch times by 50 percent. Customers can also manage applications delivered by XenApp alongside virtual desktops from within the XenDesktop Desktop Director console. (See blog for additional details)
  • Enhanced Support for Microsoft Technologies –XenDesktop 5.5 includes support for Microsoft RemoteFX, a key capability of Microsoft Hyper-V. XenDesktop with HDX and RemoteFX delivers a great user experience for rich content, including Aero-based Windows 7 desktops, whether executing on the server or the client device. Support for Microsoft management technologies, such as App-V and System Center enables IT to virtualize applications and manage their desktop infrastructure, including physical and virtual desktops and applications, from a single view.


Bob Schultz, Group Vice President and General Manager, Enterprise Desktops and Applications at Citrix

“With this new release of XenDesktop, we are making virtual desktops simple and affordable for IT by incorporating technology from our recent RingCube acquisition. In addition, XenDesktop 5.5 brings unprecedented levels of technology innovation with HDX so users will have high-performance, personal desktops and applications on any device, whether they are working at home, at work or at a branch office. Bringing together on-demand apps with XenApp, support for billions of devices with Citrix Receiver, XenDesktop enables enterprises to transform their distributed desktop computing into an on-demand service delivered from their own private clouds.”

Mark Bowker, Senior Analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group

“Desktop virtualization will play a key role in centralized IT strategies and bringing remote and branch office employees on board as part of this strategy is critical. The unique challenges of this group of employees really underscore the need for optimized and accelerated delivery over the WAN. Citrix has been dealing with the central issues around WAN delivery for 20 years and it has leveraged this experience and intelligence in XenDesktop 5.5 to not only optimize virtual desktop delivery over the WAN but ensure that users in remote and branch offices are receiving the best user experience regardless of their location.”


XenDesktop 5.5, XenApp 6.5 and XenClient 2 are available for download today from the Citrix website. Suggested pricing for XenDesktop starts at $95 per user or device for the VDI-only edition. Comprehensive desktop and application virtualization is available in the Enterprise or Platinum editions, priced at $225 and $350. XenClient 2 is available standalone as a free download from the Citrix website and included along with the Synchronizer for XenClient with XenDesktop Enterprise and Platinum.

Supporting Partner Blogs

Related Links

Follow Us Online

About Citrix

Citrix Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CTXS) is a leading provider of virtual computing solutions that help people work and play from anywhere on any device. More than 230,000 enterprises rely on Citrix to create better ways for people, IT and business to work through virtual meetings, desktops and datacenters. Citrix virtualization, networking and cloud solutions deliver over 100 million corporate desktops and touch 75 percent of Internet users each day. Citrix partners with over 10,000 companies in 100 countries. Annual revenue in 2010 was $1.87 billion.

For Citrix Investors

This release contains forward-looking statements which are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The forward-looking statements in this release do not constitute guarantees of future performance. Those statements involve a number of factors that could cause actual results to differ materially, including risks associated with the impact of the global economy and uncertainty in the IT spending environment, revenue growth and recognition of revenue, products and services, their development and distribution, product demand and pipeline, economic and competitive factors, the Company’s key strategic relationships, acquisition and related integration risks as well as other risks detailed in the Company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Citrix assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking information contained in this press release or with respect to the announcements described herein.

The development, release and timing of any features or functionality described for our products remains at our sole discretion and is subject to change without notice or consultation. The information provided is for informational purposes only and is not a commitment, promise or legal obligation to deliver any material, code or functionality and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions or incorporated into any contract.

Citrix®, XenDesktop®, Citrix Receiver™, HDX™, XenClient™ and XenApp™ are trademarks of Citrix Systems, Inc. and/or one or more of its subsidiaries, and may be registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and in other countries. All other trademarks and registered trademarks are property of their respective owners.

1 IDC MarketScape: Desktop Virtualization 2011 Vendor Analysis (Doc #228619), June 2011

2 Source: Garter, Forecast: Hosted Virtual Desktops, Worldwide, 2010-2014 (2010 Update)


Citrix Systems, Inc.
Karin Gilles, 408-790-8544
Follow CitrixPR on Twitter

Release Summary

Citrix XenDesktop 5.5 Enhances User Personalization and High-Definition Experience over the LAN or WAN


Citrix Systems, Inc.
Karin Gilles, 408-790-8544
Follow CitrixPR on Twitter