Today, Citrix is announcing the immediate availability of XenDesktop 5.5.

Citrix continues to innovate in the desktop virtualization space and build on the on the market leading trajectory established with first with XenDesktop 4.0 — the industry’s first VDI offering to provide integrated app and desktop delivery in a single product – and extended with XenDesktop 5.0 —  focused on simplification and scalability for the administrator to deploy and manage virtual desktops.   With the release of XenDesktop 5.5, Citrix  takes it up a notch yet again and sets the new standard for desktop virtualization — including the ability to deliver personal VDI desktops, provide an unparalleled user experience with more than 150 new HDX features and enhancements, deliver “headquarters-like” experience across the  WAN to  remote workers and branch offices and new Citrix Receivers for Windows and MacOS.  Whew!  That was a long sentence :-)

You can read about all of the news here.

Personal VDI desktops and reducing cost

The Citrix focus on end user experience and reducing costs of virtual desktop deployments was the driving force behind the RingCube acquisition and today’s announcement of the availability of the personal vDisk technology as a feature of XenDesktop 5.5.

If you haven’t heard about it, the new personal vDisk technology enables IT to realize the cost saving and management of pooled virtual desktops, while providing  personalization capabilities for profiles, data and applications that is typically found in a dedicated VDI deployment model.   Since we announced the acquisition of RingCube two weeks ago, my inbox has exploded with requests for more information regarding pricing,  packaging and availability.  I am pleased to confirm today that the personal vDisk technology will be included in all editions of XenDesktop at no additional charge.  The personal vDisk technology is available today as an “Early Access” feature for customers with Software Assurance to use in their labs and proof of concepts to get familiar with the technology.  In less then two weeks since the closing of this acquisition, we have delivered on the first release that is integrated with XenDesktop.  Using XenDesktop Studio, administrators can quickly create and deploy virtual desktops that take advantage of the personal vDisk technology.  The combination of the user acceptance of the personal VDI desktop and the IT cost savings allow organizations to deploy virtual desktops to a wider based of end users – truly creating a win-win situation.

You get additional technical information on the personal vDisk here