In an ever-evolving tech environment, organizations are seeking solutions that can keep pace with their increasing needs. So as giants in this space, it comes as no surprise that Microsoft and Citrix have maintained a working relationship over the decades.
As cloud-based technology brings greater flexibility to the working environment, these two businesses are looking to further enhance the way organizations operate.
In a recent announcement, Microsoft informed the tech world that it will be bringing to the table a new solution that will integrate Citrix’s high-definition user experience (HDX) technology with Windows 365.
With growing distributed workforces across the globe, this integration can help to empower users anywhere to easily access their cloud-hosted Windows desktops.
Embracing flexible work models
The last couple of years saw the world having to deal with a global pandemic that forced most organizations to rethink their work strategies. Restrictions in a lot of regions meant that businesses had to make changes to not only their physical workspaces but to the overall workforce management policies.
As this was unfolding, both Microsoft and Citrix saw the need to aid businesses by providing potential solutions. By working together, these two enterprises aimed to help enterprises accelerate their move to the cloud.
Cloud-based solutions have played a monumental role in helping businesses to adapt to a new working model that has enormous potential for development. And as we have witnessed with Windows 365 over the last year, cloud solutions are a great option for enhancing your organization’s work environment.
Recap of Windows 365
For those who may be as yet unfamiliar with Windows 365, this relatively new product is a Cloud PC subscription service that enables users to access their Windows desktops from anywhere using any device.
Launched in 2021, Windows 365 is built on the solid foundation that is Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD). However, there are several differences between Windows 365 and AVD such as the fact that with the former, each user is assigned a personal cloud virtual desktop service. In simple terms, this means that each user receives their own Windows 10 or 11 machine in the cloud with a local profile.
Moreover, those interested in the service need not worry about device compatibility. This is because all Windows 10 and Windows 11 devices are compatible. In addition, sessions can also be streamed to hardware running macOS, iPadOS, Linux, and Android.
Undoubtedly, this service will offer plenty of benefits as more and more organizations look to migrate to the cloud. Arguably the biggest benefit will have to do with facilitating remote work. This will enable businesses to be more flexible with their workforce.
Therefore, hybrid workers will also get a platform that makes it easier for them to complete their various projects whether working from home or at the office. And with the heavy computing work being carried out on the cloud, enterprises no longer need to constantly refresh employees’ hardware thus making huge cost savings.
The Citrix experience is not new
As already mentioned, Microsoft and Citrix have a history of working together so this new development shouldn’t be all too surprising. In fact, all you have to do is look at Microsoft’s Azure Virtual Desktop where Citrix HDX is currently being used.
Users have been promised advanced security features ensuring that only authenticated users can access data and apps on AVD virtual machines and Azure resources. Combining Citrix Analytics with your end-to-end analytics means that you will get a much better analytics process guaranteed to improve overall performance.
Also, you can look forward to having virtual apps and desktops embedded within a complete digital workspace platform. With this, users get a feature that organizes, guides and automates work, with options for additional features. The solutions that Microsoft and Citrix have partnered up on have yielded results such as the following:
- Citrix on Azure
In this instance, we have seen the possibility of greatly reducing overall IT costs while simultaneously increasing efficiency with Citrix DaaS solutions on Azure. Not only that, but your organization can also benefit from increasing the efficiency of your data center by leveraging Citrix ADC for Azure-hosted applications.
To top it off, IT will be glad to note that by using Citrix SD WAN and Azure Virtual WAN Service, you can vastly simplify and optimize branch office network deployment for your organization.
- Citrix on Microsoft 365
For any who have had any experience here, they will have noted how using Citrix DaaS solutions for Windows 10 and Azure Virtual Desktop can be instrumental in cutting costs as well as reducing complexities.
Moreover, Citrix solutions for Office 365 are perfectly designed to help your organization to both secure and enhance productivity as well as optimize the user experience. Lastly, you can also leverage Citrix Endpoint Management Apps and EMS in a way that will see your organization expand enterprise mobility and embrace digital workspaces.
So, from just the few features that I have gone over here, it’s clear to see that Windows 365 users probably have a lot to potentially look forward to.
Examining Citrix HDX technology
When assessing this new partnership, it’s important to understand what exactly HDX is and what it has to offer. According to Citric, HDX “is a suite of proprietary technologies that delivers a high-definition experience to users of virtual desktops and virtual applications.”
HDX is designed to offer users high-quality service and reliability. It aims to counter the network challenges that we face given that virtual app and desktop traffic has to compete with everything else on a network.
Through a combination of Independent Computing Architecture (ICA) traffic prioritization, branch office caching, and ICA protocol optimizations, HDX can give you reliable, high-quality service.
Thus users can expect an enhanced experience when using virtual apps and desktops across public clouds and on-prem platforms. And this even applies when using difficult networks. HDX also gives you remoting technologies that can offer flawless graphics and video with smooth motion and clear audio.
Not only that, but support is available as well for various devices and peripherals. Furthermore, users can benefit from a great experience using platforms like Microsoft Teams on which there will be improved security and management.
Is it already accessible?
According to the statement that Microsoft has given, this new integrated solution is something that is still in development. The statement only goes so far as to tell us that Citrix HDX technology will be coming to Windows 365 later this year.
IT admins can look forward to a far more streamlined user licensing process. Users will also benefit from being able to seamlessly switch to Citrix clients through Microsoft Endpoint Manager and windows 365.com.
Citrix VP of Product Management Calvin Hsu had this to say:
“Citrix and Microsoft are committed to delivering industry-leading solutions to enable secure, remote work. This joint engineering effort brings unique Citrix high-definition technologies to end-users and sophisticated management controls to IT, extending the value of Cloud PCs.”
What Citrix brings to Microsoft clients
One of the principal reasons that companies come together is to combine their strengths so that they can offer their clients better service. Carisa Stringer, Citrix Vice President of Product Marketing, put it clearly when she said:
“Work today is all about flexibility and choice. Together, Citrix and Microsoft can provide a new generation of Citrix and Windows 365 users with easy access to the apps and data they need to work when, where, and how they choose, leveraging familiar Citrix interfaces and client capabilities.”
Given that Citrix is on the list of Windows 365 Approved Partners, we can fully expect this partnership to yield improved solutions for clients. Users of the Cloud PC can be excited about the possibilities that may come about from this partnership.
When you combine Citrix’s unquestionable capacity for delivering great virtualization technologies with Windows 365’s features that enable clients to stream content, apps, and settings from the Microsoft cloud to any device, then there are plenty of advantages to be had. These will include:
- Giving users the ability to quickly and easily switch to Citrix clients through windows365.microsoft.com.
- The optimization of voice and video performance for multimedia applications.
- Enabling users to take advantage of a high-definition, interactive experience across a large variety of endpoint devices and peripherals.
- The application of granular policy controls to enhance security and protect corporate data.
- Can also seamlessly integrate with third-party identity solutions.
Windows 365 is a game changer
In a world that is realizing the importance of cloud-based solutions, Windows 365 has placed itself as a great option to simplify the virtualization experience for users. It’s so simple that Microsoft suggests that businesses won’t even need to have expert IT teams to set up and run the Windows 365 environment.
By offering clients a Cloud PC that you can acess anywhere and on any device, Microsoft is offering organizations an incredible service that facilitates remote access. And regardless of the size of your organization, there are bound to be options that will suit your needs.
Windows 365 allows you to configure the size, CPU, and RAM of Cloud PCs thus offering you great scalability and flexibility. This simply means that you can expand or reduce your processing and storage capacity depending on your requirements.
The Cloud PC is also going to help your organization’s hybrid workforce to operate seamlessly. Users can access their Cloud PCs and do their work without disruption whether on-premises or from home.
Since the PC is hosted on the Microsoft server, you don’t lose any progress and you can pick up right where you left off. Furthermore, you’ll be glad to know that the Cloud PC easily integrates with other Microsoft tools and applications making the user experience even better.
This helps to eliminate the problem that Microsoft users often face when trying to use their preferred tools and applications across various devices and operating systems. And when you consider the high levels of security and zero-trust architecture that Microsoft has put in place, using this ground-breaking service should be an incredible and secure experience.
Bringing futuristic solutions to clients
As employees continuously adopt new technologies in their work environments, it is the goal of Microsoft and Citrix to provide you with an optimized user experience as well as easy access to all the apps and insights you need.
The solutions being offered are intended to facilitate organizations’ migration to the cloud as well as speed up the adoption of digital workspaces and virtual desktops. And you can look at the partnership that these two enterprises have already built around Microsoft Teams as a great example of what organizations stand to gain.
By delivering this within the Citrix Workspace experience, users can benefit from higher levels of performance leading to increased productivity.
Ultimately, integrating Citrix HDX with Windows 365 improves the overall process of how users can leverage cloud-based solutions. The agility that organizations will get in combination with highly secure networks and communications are just why partnerships like this are essential.
Although we are yet to receive any comprehensive information on this new development, we can look at existing areas of partnership to see what is potentially in store. As we have already seen, these two enterprises have worked together for decades and have given clients great solutions that have enhanced the working environment.
The last few years have proven that the ability to operate without depending uniquely on on-prem solutions can be the difference between maintaining productivity levels during troubling times and operations shutting down.