The Desktop Innovation Train is Moving Full Steam Ahead

Sep 10, 2014
Shankar Iyer

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Shankar Iyer is senior vice president and general manager of End-User Computing, VMware.

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It’s been just a few days since the excitement of VMworld U.S. 2014 where we introduced VMware Workspace Suite and showcased our next-generation desktop paradigm with Project Meteor to deliver Just-In-Time (JIT) Desktops. Customers and partners I spoke with at the show recognized the tremendous pace of innovation that has been coming from VMware in the last year and everyone in the space is excited to be on the path towards the next phase of desktop and app innovation.

But we’re not resting on our laurels and we are keeping our foot on the gas as we continue to drive the innovation train.

The Desktop Product team is delighted to unveil multiple product releases that are now generally available to customers.

  1. VMware Horizon 6.0.1 and VMware Horizon Clients 3.1 – Building on our VMware Horizon 6 release, these two solutions offer our customers several new features to deliver an even better user experience. New features include:
  • Local printing for hosted applications, session-based desktops and Windows Server VDI desktops for Windows, Linux, Mac Clients
  • Increased support for hosted applications across more clients (Linux, Windows Store) in addition to our updated Windows, Mac, Android and iOS clients
  • USB 3.0 device support for VDI desktops with Windows, Mac and Linux Horizon clients
  • Microsoft Lync support for Windows Server 2008 R2 VDI desktops
  • Multiple user experience enhancements including system tray redirection, adding apps to Start Menu/Start Screen (Windows), keeping apps in dock and launch from dock (Mac) and better recovery when closing lid or recovering from network loss (Mac)
  • View Composer performance enhancements to handle multiple pending operations
  1. VMware Horizon DaaS Updates – As announced at VMworld, this is a milestone release that now delivers ‘Apps-as-a-Service’ on vCloud Air and through our DaaS platform for Service Providers. ‘Apps-as-a-Service’ leverages Microsoft RDSH and Horizon core technologies to deliver hosted applications from the cloud seamlessly to users. Other key features in Horizon DaaS include:
    • Delivery of session-based desktops from RDS hosts over PCoIP
    • Support for Windows 8.1 32 and 64-bit VDI desktops including Professional and Enterprise variants
    • Support for HTML Access for desktops on Chrome and Safari browsers
    • Imprivata Touch & Go support
    • Multiple admin and infrastructure enhancements for Service Providers including maintenance notifications, vSphere 5.5 U1 support, and management appliance upgrades to Ubuntu 12.04 and 3GB of memory

All of these features are now available not only in the U.S. but also to customers in Europe through the VMware data center in Slough, U.K. In addition, a third desktop service option, VMware Horizon DaaS Enterprise will be available in both regions to offer high performance DaaS environments to a broader set of user profiles through a new month-to-month billing option.

  1. Enhanced VMware Horizon Management Capabilities – We continue to enhance VMware Horizon management capabilities with VMware vCenter Operations Manager for Horizon v1.7 and the Horizon vCenter Orchestrator plugin for VMware vCloud Automation Center 1.1
    • VMware vCenter Operations Manager for Horizon 1.7 includes in-guest application metrics that provides visibility into applications that consume resources, cause latency and poor end-user experience so that IT can remediate these issues quickly and optimize user experience.
    • VMware Horizon vCenter Orchestrator plugin for VMware vCloud Automation Center 1.1 supports the automated registration of vCloud Automation Center provisioned machines into Horizon manual pools, adds management functions to do multi provisioning and support session management operations, and delivers additional UX improvements.
  1. VMware ThinApp 5.1 – Offers several new features that enhance this leading application virtualization tool. New features in VMware ThinApp include:
    • IE 11 support for Windows 7
    • Enhanced Thindirect:  support for Firefox, redirection between virtual instances, and GPO override 
    • Post-Deploy Package Management:  change Applink, AppSync, and Entry Points via GPOs 
    • P2P (Project to Physical):  supports the extraction of ThinApp projects directly into capture and build machines for restoration to the original state 
  2. VMware Workspace Portal 2.1 – This latest release of VMware Workspace Portal delivers a new Single Virtual Appliance Architecture that simplifies deployment. A simple guided install takes less than 30 minutes and additional VA’s can be easily scaled out as necessary to meet the requirements for even the most complex deployments. In addition, the new dashboard delivers powerful information to administrators. You can find out more about VMware Workspace Portal 2.1 by reading Kevin Strohmeyer’s blog post.

Fusion 7 Box shot

We are also thrilled to release VMWare Fusion 7 and VMWare Fusion Pro 7. The solutions are optimized for the latest Mac hardware and software to deliver the ultimate Windows on Mac experience with multiple power-packed features. One reader of Ars Technica wrote, “To make a long story short, beware parallels 10. I must say I really like the new VMware Fusion. The ability to connect to ESXi and Workstation shared VMs is very much welcome. I used to have to run Workstation in a Windows VM just to connect to ESXi.”

As you can see, we are innovating at a very rapid pace. Expect to see more from us as we continue to deliver more functionality, deeper integration, greater simplicity, and exciting new products!

Also, stay tuned because we will have more to share at VMworld Europe in beautiful Barcelona, Spain. In the meantime, check out these new features for yourself when you have a chance and tell me what you think in the comment section below. The VMware EUC innovation train has left the station—and we are moving full stream ahead!

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