VMware on Tuesday offered the public a look at what's coming in View 5, a forthcoming update that the company claims will significantly enhance the desktop virtualization user experience across a wide range of devices.
Many improvements in View 5 reflect the trend of vendors making the virtual desktop user experience almost indistinguishable from that of a physical desktop. For example, VMware has teamed up with Cisco and Mitel to integrate unified communications into View 5's virtual desktops, Raj Mallempati, VMware's director of product marketing for Enterprise Desktop Solutions, said in an interview at VMworld 2011 in Las Vegas.
View 5 also comes with View Media Services, a set of features that includes 3D graphic support for Windows 7 Aero and Office 2010, as well as support for 3D applications that use DirectX and OpenGL. And VMware has added client-side caching and other PCoIP optimization technology that reduces bandwidth consumption by up to 75 percent, according to Mallempati.
Although VMware dominates the server virtualization space, it's not as strong on the desktop. In his VMworld keynote, VMware CEO Paul Maritz suggested that the company is paying more attention to addressing issues customers have had with previous versions of View.
"We've done a lot of work to address entire list of customer concerns," Maritz said in his Monday keynote. "View 5 should work much better in high latency and low bandwidth environments. We also have clients available for other devices, and View can handle VoIP and unified communications."
Customers that purchase View 5 Premier Edition will get View Persona Management, a set of tools that allow administrators to centrally manage users' settings and files and tweak policies and access privileges, while keeping tabs on performance and other settings, Mallempati said.
View 5 will work with Android devices such as the Samsung Galaxy Tab and Cisco Cius, and VMware is adding single sign-on and SSL in a future update to its View For iPad product, he said.
Mallempati said View 5 Enterprise and Premier editions will be available "in the coming weeks." View 5 Enterprise Edition is priced at $150 per concurrent connection and VMware View 5 Premier Edition is priced at $250 per concurrent connection.