Citrix has released DesktopPlayer for Mac, an application designed to leverage Citrix XenDesktop on portable Mac devices. The application supports virtual Windows instances on the Mac while enabling ongoing synchronization of data between local and hosted desktops. According to Citrix, the combination of DesktopPlayer for Mac and XenDesktop gives administrators and end-users what they each want: centralized control and flexibility, respectively.
Citrix DesktopPlayer for Mac works with a centralized management server known as the Synchronizer. The Synchronizer provisions and manages virtualized desktops, and provides a consistent base image.
The DesktopPlayer is designed to work even when network performance is poor, intermittent or even nonexistent. Unlike working with a dual boot device, users do not need to reboot to switch between Windows and Mac OS. The DesktopPlayer also includes features of mobile device management (MDM) systems, such as support for remote kill lockout and expiration policies that can help protect corporate data.
According to a Forrester research report, a number of forces are changing how departments deliver IT services, including the fact that employees use multiple devices in their work. "It's no longer plausible for I&O [Infrastructure and Operations] to manage and support all of the devices and OSes finding their way into the workplace," the report states. "To get their jobs done, employees use many different devices, from desktops (85%), laptops and netbooks (63%), to tablets (21%) and smartphones (48%)." Forrester predicts the number of personal laptops used by business employees to double by 2016.
"The popularity of Apple products in businesses is clearly growing at a brisk pace," says Calvin Hsu, Vice President of Product Marketing, Desktops and Apps at Citrix. "Enterprises are deploying desktop virtualization to enable mobile workstyles and manage the diversity of devices that users are bringing into the workplace. With the introduction of DesktopPlayer, these organizations can now address a rapidly growing set of users: mobile employees who need to access their virtual desktops on their MacBooks while disconnected."
Citrix DesktopPlayer for Mac is generally available now for $75 per user/per device. There is also a 90-day free trial.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
James Sullivan is a freelance technology writer whose concentrations include cloud computing and video game development. He is based in Portland, Oregon.