New User Workflows, Simpler Administration & a Better User Experience
This release continues to deliver innovation in three key areas: New user workflows, desktop administration and user experience:
- For the first time, users on their virtual desktops can collaborate with multiple participants for peer reviews, iterative design and training—especially useful in the areas of engineering, design, healthcare and education.
- We have also continued to make life easier for the administrator, with features such as instant-clone support for Linux and published-application (RDSH) improvements.
- Lastly, we continue to raise the user experience bar with Microsoft Skype for Business support for Mac clients, better image quality with H.264 4:4:4 predictive profiles and enhancements for Chrome OS.
Session collaboration allows a user who needs to collaborate with colleagues to do so quickly and simply from within their Horizon 7 session. The user brings up the session collaboration dialog and can send an invitation to multiple colleagues with an email or an IM, or by copying a link.
After the session has started, the additional users can see a mirror image of the first user’s session; this works especially well with high-end graphics scenarios. The first user also has the option of passing control over to other users.
This feature requires that session collaboration be enabled at the desktop pool level or RDSH farm level.
Session Collaboration Requirements
- VMware Blast Extreme display protocol
- Horizon Client 4.7 (Windows, Mac or Linux), HTML Access 4.7
- Maximum of five collaborators by default (can be increased)
- Horizon Agent 7.4 for virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and RDSH
- Horizon 7.4 Connection Server
- Horizon 7 Enterprise Edition license
Instant-Clone Support for Linux
Horizon 7.4 extends the rapid provisioning advantages of Horizon 7 instant clones to Linux desktops. VMware Instant Clone Technology has been available since Horizon 7.0, initially available for Windows 7 and Windows 10 desktops, and then for RDS hosts. Now, the technology can be used to provision Linux desktops, as well.
VMware instant clones provide the ability to deploy Linux desktops more rapidly, to scale more easily, and to perform recurring maintenance much more quickly than was previously possible with full-clone desktop pools.
Instant Clones for Linux Requirements
- Instant-clone floating desktop pool
- Horizon 7.4 Connection Servers and Linux Agent
- Ubuntu 14.04 and 16.04
- Active Directory integration provided by Power Broker Identity Services Open (PBISO) v8.5.6 or later
RDSH Instant-Clone Farms with vGPU
Horizon 7 has supported provisioning RDS hosts with instant clones since Horizon 7.1. Horizon 7.4 adds support to provision NVIDIA vGPU instant-clone RDS hosts. So, now 3D-based RDSH farms can take advantage of the fast provisioning and recurring maintenance features of Instant Clone Technology.
NVIDIA M10, M60 and P40 cards are supported.
RSDH Published Application Enhancements
In our continuing efforts to enhance the user experience for RDSH published applications in Horizon 7, we added the following features:
- Hardware GPU Support on Windows Server 2016
- USB AutoConnect: Allows USB devices to be connected automatically the next time a remote application is launched
- Improved Application Launch Performance: Faster login time for Horizon published applications
- Enhanced Empty-Session Timeout Options: Allows immediate timeout of RDSH sessions upon disconnect
H264 High Color Accuracy
By default, 4:2:2 chroma subsampling is used with H.264, but some color combinations can lead to blocky text that can be hard to read.
The Blast Extreme setting in the Blast Extreme ADMX template file (vdm_blast.admx) increases color accuracy when using H.264 encoding by using the YUV 4:4:4 color space instead of 4:2:2. This provides better clarity for text and a better user experience.
Horizon Virtualization Pack for Skype for Business, Update 3
The Horizon 7.4 Agent and Horizon Client 4.7 releases add many user experience enhancements for Skype for Business virtualization including:
- Support for Horizon 7 Mac Client: This includes HID devices and H.264 hardware cameras.
- Microsoft Office Integration: This includes Microsoft SharePoint, Yammer, Microsoft Word and Microsoft Outlook.
- Call Delegation: Users can be assigned to receive calls on behalf of, or in addition to, the person who assigned them as a delegate. Delegates may also make calls on behalf of another user.
- Call via X (home, work, etc.): A user enabled for Call Via Work can click in Skype for Business to call another user, either within their deployment or as an external user. The call is completed with the user’s PBX phone.
- Active Speaker Identification: During conference calls, the active speaker’s video is displayed.
- Volume Control from Remote Desktop: Users can now control the Skype for Business call volume from within the VDI desktop (using the volume control in the lower right corner).
- Response Groups: Call routing to groups of users, for example when a designated number is dialed, will ring users who are part of the call response group.
Horizon Client for Chrome OS Enhancements
The Horizon Client for Chrome OS has several enhancements, including:
- True multi-monitor support
- Multiple sessions of remote Horizon 7 desktops and applications, with seamless windows
- Drag and drop of images and plain text from Android phones to remote virtual machines (VMs)
Note: These features require Chrome OS 64 or later.
All of the Horizon clients add new user experience features with the 4.7 release. Details for each client can be found in the Release Notes on the Horizon Client Documentation page.
We hope you try these new Horizon 7 features to provide users with new workflows, to simplify VDI administration and to enhance user experiences. You can download Horizon 7.4 here and the the new Horizon Client 4.7 from the Horizon Client Downloads page.
The Horizon 7.4 Release Notes provide a summary of the new features.