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Dazzle brightens Citrix flexibility story

Citrix's Dazzle self-service interface for XenDesktop lets users choose the applications they need for online or offline use on any device without installing them locally.

Citrix Systems this week released an application interface for its XenDesktop 4.0 virtual desktop software that provisions applications to end users and can thereby help cut help desk calls.

The Citrix Dazzle self-service system serves up applications with an interface similar to iTunes. End users can choose the apps they need without installing them locally and use them online or offline on any device.

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Adding a self-service interface for end users is a step in the right direction when it comes to using desktop virtualization to lower IT costs, said Chris Wolf, an analyst at Burton Group, a Midvale, Utah-based consulting firm.

"If you want to help reduce help desk calls by a large margin, offer intuitive interfaces users can use to solve their own problems," Wolf said. "Granted, simply rebooting a nonpersistent virtual desktop helps, but what about other areas that result in help desk calls, such as file recovery?"

"Vendors should be taking the lead here and helping their clients connect the dots with these issues," he added. "The Dazzle interface is a good step toward self-service, and VMware needs a comparable story."

Citrix made Dazzle generally available for Windows and Macs this week, along with new versions of Citrix Receiver for Windows, Mac, iPhone, BlackBerry and Android.

The Citrix Receiver is a software client used with Dazzle to access virtual desktops and applications on any device.

Citrix Dazzle, Citrix Receiver and Citrix Merchandising Server are free for all Citrix XenDesktop or Citrix XenApp customers. The following versions of Dazzle and Receiver will be generally available to all Citrix customers in December: Dazzle 1.1 for Microsoft Windows, Dazzle 1.2 for Apple Mac, Receiver 1.2 for Windows and Mac, Receiver 2.0 for Apple iPhone, Receiver 1.0 for RIM BlackBerry and Receiver tech preview for Google's Android.

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