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XenDesktop Details Emerge as Product Begins Shipping

With a tiered pricing structure designed to undercut VMware's offerings, Citrix has announced the availability of XenDesktop, its much anticipated and discussed product offering in the increasingly important desktop virtualization arena. At the company's Synergy event in Houston, it also took the wraps off of some important product portfolio details.

The complete product line sports five different editions for various use cases. A new Express Edition will provide free desktop virtualization for up to 10 users. The Standard Edition, priced at $75 per concurrent user, represents Citrix's entry-level offering for departmental implementations. The line also includes an Advanced Edition, available for IT shops that have already implemented existing application delivery solutions. The advanced edition sells for $195.

Also being offered is an Enterprise Edition, priced at $295, which integrates application delivery with XenApp for Virtual Desktops. And finally a Platinum Edition ($395) was announced which is optimized for IT shops looking to implement DaaS or "desktop as a service" from a datacenter. According to the company, the Platinum Edition adds a number of enhancements including security and monitoring features. It also includes a VOIP-based click to call feature dubbed EasyCall.

VMware's Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) is the market leader in the desktop virtualization space. It's a niche that is becoming increasingly crowded by major vendors like Citrix, Microsoft HP and Sun, and a number of startups like Desktone, PanoLogic and Qumranet's SolidICE. While VMware's VDI has a head start and is the most visible desktop solution, offerings from the competition usually come in at a lower price.

In desktop virtualization, a user's complete desktop environment, including operating system, applications and personalized settings, are stored in a virtual machine on a server. The environment is then pushed out to the user, who can be using a regular desktop PC, or thin client or other "dummy" terminal.

Virtualization Review Editor Keith Ward contributed to this story.

About the Author

Tom Valovic is a freelance technology writer.

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