Citrix announces Presentation Server 4.5

Citrix finally introduces the new version of its Presentation Server putting a lot of emphasis on new application virtualization and streaming capabilities (known so far with the Tarpoon codename).

Among other features this new release introduces:

  • On-Demand Application Streaming
    Presentation Server has always provided the best way to virtualize the delivery of client-server based Windows applications, enabling them to be centrally installed and managed while providing a great access experience for end users. With its innovative new application streaming technology, Presentation Server 4.5 now extends these same benefits to desktop applications like Microsoft Office 2007, allowing them to be streamed over the network to users as an on-demand service, much like downloaded music or videos. This process is entirely transparent to end users who continue to access desktop applications from their Windows Start menu, just as they have in the past. Because streamed applications operate in a protected isolation environment on each user’s desktop, IT managers can now offer a much wider range of desktop applications to users without worrying about version conflicts and migration headaches. When users are disconnected from the network, streamed applications run normally, just as if they had been installed via traditional means. When connected, any new updates, patches or rollbacks are automatically, and transparently, streamed to each user, ensuring they are always working with the latest version
  • Centralized Application Provisioning
    The new centralized application provisioning capabilities give customers with large Presentation Server farms one central location to stage the latest versions of all Windows, desktop and client-server applications, enabling IT to provision new applications and servers more quickly than ever before. As a result, the delivery and maintenance of Windows applications across mid-to-large enterprises is greatly simplified, allowing many application updates, rollouts or rollbacks to be completed during normal business hours without the need for weekend or late night implementations
  • Advanced Graphics Acceleration
    With the new SpeedScreen progressive display technology in Presentation Server 4.5, the performance of graphics displays in Windows-based applications over a network is improved by up to 20 times, making it possible for the first time ever to virtualize the delivery of even the most graphics-intensive applications with no compromise in end user experience. As a result, IT can now take advantage of all the benefits of Presentation Server to deliver applications such as healthcare PACS (Picture Archiving and Communication Systems) and GIS (Geographic Information System) mapping, while providing the speed, data security, and anywhere-access flexibility that users need.

Citrix offers Presentation Server 4.5 in three edition: Advanced, Enterprise and Platinum., all available since March 2007 at a suggested starting price of $350 per concurrent user.

Brian Madden published an insightful post on the new product which is worth to read.

Considering terminal services capabilities of upcoming Windows Server codename Longhor, and Microsoft acquisition of Softricity, this release from Citrix (which will be further enforced by technology acquired from Ardence) set the company directly against the long time partner.

At the same time Citrix is facing another notable competitor, VMware, which is challenging on the Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) segment.

The Virtualization Industry Roadmap has been updated accordingly.