The Desktop Innovation Train Continues Forward

Dec 9, 2014
Louis Cheng

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Shankar IyerBy Shankar Iyer, VP of Product Management, Desktop Solutions, End-User Computing, VMware

It’s been exactly a quarter since my last blog on our product releases and I’m thrilled to be talking about our next set of releases now available. We’ve continued the rapid pace we set earlier this year and are excited to be delivering not just new feature innovations, but brand new products as part of the Horizon family this time around. It’s a testament to our innovation spirit, and the hard work and creativity of the VMware EUC folks that live this spirit day-in and day-out.

The product innovation train rolls on this quarter with the following releases:

VMware Horizon FLEX 

Last week, we released the first version of Horizon FLEX. Horizon FLEX makes it easy to deliver Windows desktops and applications to mobile workers and contractors, whether they choose a PC or a Mac. End-users get a full-fidelity experience from their locally-executing applications – even when disconnected. Desktop administrators retain control over how desktops are used and can place restrictions on their use based on role or employment type. For more details, please visit: http://www.vmware.com/products/horizon-flex

VMware Workstation 11, Player Pro 7 and Fusion Pro 7.1

The swiss-army knife for technical professionals, VMware Workstation 11 gets even better with support for virtual private vCloud Air. It also includes support new Intel processor features to provide near-native performance for many tasks.

VMware Player Pro 7 (formerly VMware Player Plus) is the easiest way to run virtual machines on a PC. With the launch of VMware Player Pro 7 we’re announcing that VMware Player will be available for purchase in the channel in the channel in addition to the VMware Online Store.

VMware Fusion Pro 7.1 includes bug-fixes and minor improvements focused on the recently released Mac OS X Yosemite.

VMware App Volumes 2.5

App Volumes 2.5 (previously CloudVolumes) is now VMware branded and fully integrated into our Horizon portfolio. Additional features include support for RDSH published desktops and applications, Citrix XenDesktop and Xenapp, non-persistent physical devices, improved personalized user environment options and greatly improved and expanded support for Microsoft Office.  For more details, please visit: http://www.vmware.com/products/appvolumes 

VMware Horizon 6.0.2

The VMware Horizon 6.0.2 release introduces performance enhancements for several key use cases such as scanner and serial redirection. Horizon 6.0.2 when integrated with App Volumes 2.5 provides customers a robust enterprise class Virtual Desktop and application delivery solution.

Horizon 6.0.2  also includes a couple of key remote experience features:

Windows Multimedia Redirection Gets Better

With the latest release, additional Windows Media formats are supported including MPEG-1, MPEG-2, MPEG-4 Part 2; WMV 7, 8, and 9; WMA; AVI; ACE; MP3; and WAV among others. In addition, media playback now supports Windows Media Player (WMP) 12 and above and WMP inside Internet Explorer. Finally, Windows MMR now supports Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1 desktops and clients.

Scanner Redirection

Scanner redirection shares a locally attached scanner or imaging device to a virtual desktop or remote app. Scans are completed on the Windows client and compressed images are sent to remote desktop or hosted app. Scanner redirection Improves performance and reduces bandwidth over WAN and supports both TWAIN / WIA scanning modes. Scanner redirection is available for Windows clients.

VMware Horizon Clients 3.2

The latest in our quarterly client updates includes new features, updated OS support and bug fixes. Some of the features below require an update to the client on the end user’s hardware as well as an update to the agent and broker settings. All clients are all at version 3.2. We’ve also improved security across the board by incorporating OpenSSL 1.0.1i.

Horizon Client for Windows

The updated Windows client supports the improved Windows multimedia redirection and the new scanner redirection features included with Horizon 6.0.2. In addition, it also supports IME (Input Method Editor) apps to help users type in languages that don’t work well with keyboards. We added a setting to allow the user to select whether to use local IME or the one installed in the virtual desktop.

Horizon Client for Linux

The updated Linux client is now available for download from the VMware Horizon clients download page. The Linux client has a new installer with a compatibility scan tool integrated. The tool checks the Linux version and then installs. It is compatible with the 32-bit editions of RHEL 6.5, Ubuntu 12.04, Ubuntu 14.04, SLED 11 SP3, and newly added CentOS 6.5.  We’ve also improved multiple display support, allowing the user to select which monitors to use for the virtual desktop.

Horizon Client for Mac

Mac users can now use a smart card to log into Horizon and then share the smart card into the Windows desktop. We’ve also polished up our Mac OS X Yosemite (10.10) support.

Hosted app users have always seen hosted applications in the Dock. Now, you also see alerts, for instance when you get a new email or IM message. Lastly, you can create custom keyboard shortcut mappings from your Windows desktop or hosted apps to an appropriate Mac keyboard combination.

Horizon Client for iOS

With Airwatch, VMware’s mobile device management platform, an admin can install and manage a variety of applications including the Horizon Client. We also updated the iOS client to work with iOS 8.1 and improved battery life when the client is running in the background. Lastly, the iOS client has added support to use Windows 8 gestures from your iOS device.

Horizon Client for Android

The Android client has some of the same new features as the iOS client: Windows 8 gesture support and Airwatch integration. We’ve also added better battery performance and the Android client  has been improved for Android 5.0, Lollipop.

Horizon Client for Windows Store

We introduced support for hosted apps in our last Windows Store client, but they are now easier to use. Using the side bar, users can quickly jump from app to app and launch additional hosted applications. This update also adds support for high DPI tablets and monitors.

Horizon HTML Access

In addition to VDI desktops, you can now access RDSH desktops from a web browser. To get the latest HTML Access features, administrators will need to run the broker update as well as install the latest agent in their VMs.

VMware Horizon with VMware EVO RAIL

With the introduction of VMware EVO RAIL the total capex cost (hardware costs only) of hosting a virtual desktop has been reduced by at least 40%. The combination of VMware Horizon 6.0.2 and EVO RAIL allows customers to achieve lower costs and scale in incremental blocks of capacity while providing end users a great user experience.

vRealize Operations for Horizon 6.0

This release introduces a single, integrated VMware vRealize Operations Manager console for your datacenter components, improved dashboards including detailed login metrics, improved problem diagnosis and remediation with proactive alerts, new reports on applications, RDS and desktop pools, session statistics and license compliance, increased scalability, and Internationalization support for German, Japanese, Korean, Simplified and Traditional Chinese languages. 

VMware Mirage 5.2

VMware Mirage 5.2 introduces OS migration support for POS (point of sale or point of service) devices and terminals. The main focus of this release is supporting OS migration from Windows Embedded POS to POSReady2009. Many IT environments are migrating to newer POS operating systems, due to end of support or related PCI compliance issues. Mirage now helps accelerate OS migrations across distributed POS environments, matching the many benefits IT already receives when using Mirage for Windows 7 or 8.1 migrations. These benefits include minimized end-user downtime, a built-in safety net with revert to snapshot option, and the ability to migrate dozens to hundreds of devices per day.

VMware Horizon Air (previously Horizon DaaS) 

VMware Horizon Air Desktop DR

VMware Horizon Air Desktop DR is a new service that will enable organizations to protect their business and ensure workforce continuity with affordable cloud-hosted desktops and applications. In the event of a disaster, IT will be able to get users up and running quickly with the speed of the cloud without the complexity and cost of physical desktop disaster recovery solution

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