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Microsoft, Citrix team up to take on VMware VDI

The Microsoft-Citrix partnership is still going strong, as evidenced by their most recent quest to beguile VMware customers with free virtual desktop software licenses.

Systems Channel News Roundup for the week of March 15-19, 2010.

Microsoft, Citrix use free licensing to entice VMware customers

In a new joint initiative to grab a piece of VMware's desktop virtualization market share, Microsoft and Citrix Systems Inc. are offering free virtual desktop software licenses.

Customers under Microsoft's Software Assurance agreements can now trade in their VMware View licenses for Microsoft VDI Standard Suite subscriptions and Citrix XenDesktop VDI Edition annual licenses, according to

There are no additional costs for the swap, but there is a maximum exchange limit of 500 licenses. The promotion is available until the end of this year.

VMware ThinApp 4.5 includes new performance features, support

VMware ThinApp 4.5 has new features that are designed to improve usability and performance in its application virtualization and portable application creator suite.

ThinApp 4.5 offers support for Windows Server 2008 R2 as well as the 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Windows 7. The new relink.exe utility now automatically updates existing packages with new features or enhancements, and improved product interfaces will boost usability, according to VMware Inc.

This release also offers solutions providers resolutions for issues such as Internet Explorer's inability to retain proxy settings and Microsoft Visual Studio's licensing error messages.

VMware also lists issues with ThinApp 4.5 on its website, including problems with SAP client failures, SAP BusinessObjects Data Services and Microsoft Word and Excel.

IBM releases System x M3 and Blade Center systems to improve memory

IBM has released System x M3 and Blade Center systems that are designed to increase memory and performance, improve efficiency and allow customers to take advantage of virtualization.

The new IBM systems include two new rack servers -- the x3650 M3 and the x3550 M3 -- that deliver 50% more memory capacity and 60% more internal storage than previous IBM servers, according to IBM. The systems also include two new enterprise tower servers, BladeCenter HS22, BladeCenter HS22V and a new iDataPlex server.

Running on Intel Xeon 5600 processors, they offer systems management tools useful to solutions providers, including the Integrated Management Module that manages and troubleshoots servers from any location.

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