On April 9, VMware announced Horizon 6, which includes multiple feature updates to the Horizon suite. The biggest item to note is the release of Horizon View 6, which will now offer publishing applications accessible via PCoIP.
As noted in the announcement, VMware is going right at Citrix, specifically with the various issues involved with upgrading Citrix XenApp 6.5 to 7.5. Citrix XenApp 7.5 requires a completely new build in parallel to the existing Citrix XenApp 6.5 environment. As of now there is no upgrade path. VMware is seizing this opportunity with the release of Horizon View 6, and their timing is on point.
There has been chatter of VMware offering a published application feature for many years now. VMware’s only play in the past was Horizon View, which was specific to VDI, which not all customers required. VDI in general is much more pricey from a CAPX standpoint than hosted shared desktops/applications (i.e., XenApp). Obviously this was always used against VMware simply from a cost standpoint.
Now will this mean all Citrix XenApp customers will now jump ship to VMware Horizon View? No; however, it does provide an alternative. Citrix XenApp is a very mature product, but with the release of XenApp 7.5, Citrix is now using the FlexCast Management Architecture (FMA) which is completely new to XenApp (initially released May of 2013 as XenDesktop App Edition). Take a look at the blog I wrote last month about some of the shortcomings with XenApp 7.5.
There will be much more information related to Horizon View 6 once it is released, and of course tested. Right now it is just VMware telling us how good the product will be. Just like any other new product I am sure there will be bugs, etc. Stay tuned for future blogs on Horizon View 6.