Monday, March 23, 2015

New Horizon Client 3.3 ends support for Windows XP

I’m sorry to see that starting with version 3.3, the Horizon Client no longer supports Windows XP and support for the older version 3.2 client has only been promised through the remainder of 2015.  I'm sure that a lot of existing customers have older Windows Embedded 2009 (still based on XP) thin clients that run an OS still supported by Microsoft through January 8, 2019.  One of the major reasons to go to Horizon based VDI is to save on endpoint replacement costs and to extend the replacement lifecycle.  Replacing hundreds (or thousands for larger organizations) of these thin clients with ones running newer versions of Windows Embedded or with Teradici based zero clients can be cost prohibative. If a core thin client OS is still supported by Microsoft, as a customer, I would expect VMware to at least provide a client to support it.

Unless VMware has a change of heart, later this year I'll be investigating solutions like Stratodesk, Wyse PC Extender, and Devon VDI Blaster that can essentially replace Windows Embedded (or XP) with a centrally managable version of Linux that runs the Horizon Client.  However I'll have to do some testing to make sure performance is similar and that options like USB flash drive support and location based printing still functions as it does with a thin client running Windows Embedded.  All of these products have a cost, but they are significantly cheaper than purchasing a new thin or zero client if it extends the usable life of them in a Horizon VDI environment for several more years.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Ken! You've hit the nail on the head here. Many educational institutions choose to implement VDI in an effort to negate or at least defer the costs of endpoint replacement, so this sort of change in ending support for Windows XP can lead to a big headache in terms of how to move forward.. On top of that, schools are often dealing with decentralized infrastructure plus the management of myriad peripherals and typically have very limited IT budgets.. altogether meaning that it can be a challenge to find a solution that performs the way you want it to AND is favorably priced. But as you said, barring VMware changing their mind, the solutions you named above are all going to be significantly cheaper than purchasing new thin or zero clients. Give us a shout if you need any documentation about Stratodesk or NoTouch Desktop that might help you in your testing later this year! - Anna and the Stratodesk Team (anna [dot] cmaylo [at] stratodesk [dot] com)