Citrix is touting new technology to make the up-front cost of virtual desktops cheaper for businesses than physical desktops within six months, while ensuring that virtual desktop performance doesn’t lag too far behind traditional PCs. While advances in XenDesktop software and the ability to pack ever more virtual desktops onto a single server factor into the equation, a key piece is a new partnership with virtual desktop software vendor NComputing and hardware vendor Texas Instruments to create a system-on-a-chip architecture that incorporates Citrix’s own HDX high-definition virtual desktop technology directly into the silicon.
The first devices using HDX system-on-a-chip technology will be sold in early 2012, and will eventually lead to client devices that cost less than $100, Citrix claims.
“For the first time ever, nontraditional devices like network monitors, phones, smart keyboards, consumer set-top boxes, shop floor equipment, kiosks and hospital workstations-on-wheels will be able to display virtual apps and desktops directly, without the need for an a full PC at the endpoint,” Citrix said.
The HDX system-on-a-chip architecture is initially designed for ARM-based chips but will be expanded to x86. To enable access to virtual desktops, these devices would connect to customer data centers outfitted with Citrix’s XenApp and XenDesktop software. Citrix says the average first year cost for deploying physical desktops in a business setting is roughly $1,000 per device, and that virtual desktops are on the verge of dropping below that mark and will continue to decline in price while physical desktops stay steady.
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Citrix claims it will make virtual desktops cheaper than real ones