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Citrix Takes On VMware with XenDesktop

With atiered pricing structure designed to undercut VMware's offerings, Citrix hasannounced the availability of XenDesktop, its much anticipated and discussedproduct offering in the increasingly important desktop virtualization arena.At the company's Synergy event in Houston, it also took the wraps off ofsome important product portfolio details.

The complete product linesports five different editions for various use cases. A new Express Editionwill provide free desktop virtualization for up to 10 users. The StandardEdition, priced at $75 per concurrent user, represents Citrix's entry-leveloffering for departmental implementations. The line also includes anAdvanced Edition, available for IT shops that have already implementedexisting application delivery solutions. The advanced edition sells for$195.

Also being offered is an Enterprise Edition, priced at $295,which integrates application delivery with XenApp for Virtual Desktops. Andfinally a Platinum Edition ($395) was announced which is optimized for ITshops looking to implement DaaS or "desktop as a service" from a datacenter.According to the company, the Platinum Edition adds a number of enhancementsincluding security and monitoring features. It also includes a VOIP-basedclick to call feature dubbed EasyCall.

VMware's Virtual DesktopInfrastructure (VDI) is the market leader in the desktop virtualizationspace. It's a niche that is becoming increasingly crowded by major vendorslike Citrix, Microsoft HP and Sun, and a number of startups like Desktone,PanoLogic and Qumranet's SolidICE. While VMware's VDI has a head start andis the most visible desktop solution, offerings from the competition usuallycome in at a lower price.

In desktop virtualization, a user'scomplete desktop environment, including operating system, applications andpersonalized settings, are stored in a virtual machine on a server. Theenvironment is then pushed out to the user, who can be using a regulardesktop PC, or thin client or other "dummy" terminal.

Virtualization Review Editor Keith Ward contributed to thisstory.

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