Citrix Expands Desktop Virtualization Offerings

virtualization software unveiled a new release of its own VMware View

The dueling product debuts position the two vendors for what promises to be an explosive market next year and beyond: Gartner predicts that the hosted virtual desktop market will surpass $65 billion worldwide in 2013.

Citrix Monday also introduced Citrix Dazzle, self-service "storefront" software that works with XenDesktop. Businesses deploy Dazzle to allow users to select applications, desktop software and content to work with their virtual desktops.

Citrix also debuted a new release of its Receiver universal client software for accessing virtual desktops and applications from any device, including iPhone, BlackBerry and Android smartphones. The first release of Receiver, which shipped in May, has already generated 250,000 downloads from Apple's iPhone store, according to Mick Holliston, marketing vice president for the Citrix XenApp Product Group.

Desktop virtualization technology is following much the same adoption curve as server virtualization has in recent years, Holliston said. And he said the launch of Windows 7 is forcing IT managers to evaluate their long-term desktop software strategies.

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Server virtualization has been a hot area for solution providers: Holliston said Citrix estimates that every $1 spent on server virtualization software generates an additional $10 in related service revenue. Holliston said Citrix is likewise beginning to see "amazing demand" for desktop virtualization products. Citrix sells its desktop virtualization software exclusively through channel partners who provide implementation and consulting services for the product.

Unveiled last month, XenDesktop 4 sports "FlexCast" new delivery technology that Citrix said makes it easier to deliver any type of virtual desktop on any device and change the application mix at any time. Citrix also said it has validated more than 10,000 third-party products from more than 200 vendors to work with XenDesktop.