Hi, my name is Chandra Shekaran, and I am the general manager for Presentation & Desktop Virtualization at Microsoft. By now, you have probably heard about our Virtualization Deployment Summit today where we made several exciting announcements pertaining to some of our important virtualization strategies (you can find them at Microsoft PressPass). One of the announcements was Microsoft completing the acquisition of Calista Technologies, a leading provider of graphic technologies for the next generation desktop and presentation virtualization solutions. As many of you know, Microsoft has been a leader in the presentation virtualization space for more than 10 years with Windows Terminal Services. With the addition of Calista we will continue to provide the best, broadest and most affordable virtualization technology portfolio for customers and partners. For more read Neal Margulis’ post (Neal is the founder of Calista).
So, what’s so exciting about Calista? Calista’s products dramatically improve the end-user experience of 3D and multimedia delivery for Microsoft multimedia applications, virtualized desktop deployments, and server-hosted virtualized desktops or applications using Windows Terminal Services. Their technologies support all file and streaming media type available, and optimize Microsoft’s widely available Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) to reduce the network bandwidth requirements for remote display of rich media content; thus, remote workers can receive a modern Windows desktop experience without the need for dedicated hardware. As multimedia and 3D graphics are becoming more ubiquitous in business and consumer contexts alike, customers expect the full desktop experience regardless of their desktop deployment choice. With the addition of Calista technologies, Microsoft will enable users to enjoy a rich remote experience for server-hosted, virtualized desktops and applications, thus allowing an organization full flexibility in their choice to deploy centrally managed desktops or a local traditional desktop. In fact, in one of our other announcements today we talked about the concept of Windows Vista optimized desktop solutions; the idea behind it is to enable customers to use several Microsoft technologies, such as the rich user interface of Windows Vista, server based applications like Windows Server 2008 Terminal Services or hosted desktop technology like Windows Vista Enterprise Centralized Desktops, for personal computing scenarios that best meet their unique needs. Calista will be key in helping customers to make the right trade-off decisions among these deployment options, by helping to ensure a consistent, rich end user experience in those scenarios where users transition between a local and a server-hosted desktop.
There are many other product areas at Microsoft where we believe Calista’s technologies will be extremely beneficial in helping Microsoft to create a superior customer experience, and we are just starting to imagine the potential. More importantly though, I am sure you will want to better understand where in Microsoft’s product portfolio virtualization innovations such as Calista’s will start to materialize first, so please stay tuned and come back here to read our blog every once in a while for more details about the latest product plans and accomplishments.
This is great news and the next question is if there's a timeline for the integration of Calista into Remote Desktop? :)
Additionally, is this only going to be available for Vista and Server 2008 RDP hosts, and what will the client requirements be?
We are in the process of evaluating the integration technical issues and we have not set a timeline yet, though we will do our best to integrate as soon as possible.
The details regarding product delivery are not finalized and disclosed yet, but Calista will be a strong component of our platform.
By chance, will we see true multi-monitor support coming as a result of this (or other recent developments)? Dual monitor setups are becoming quite popular these days....
Great news and congratulationans to Neil, Calista Technologies and Microsoft. We strongly beleive that in general the RDP protocol and its potential has been overlooked and under estimated in contrast to Citrix for example and this exciting development is welcome news. Being new to this blog can someone please point us in the right direction where we could post a question regarding using Windows 2003 Server & Terminal Services & RDP vs Citrix for a deployment of a windows desktop application for 12 thousand users. Thanks in advance and once again Calista acquisition just a super move for all parties and wonderful news for the indusrty.
Great news but I`m not sure how long does it takes to intergrate with terminal services and RDP protocol.
It took so much time to launch Softgrid as a Microsoft products.
Speed is ths most important issue nowadays.
For Worthwhile --
Brian madden is a good site for rdp vs citrix comparisons.
http://www.expand.com shows how you can accelerate both citrix (ICA) and RDP traffic over your WAN in the meantime. However to take full advantage you need to experience congestion on your links.
Worthware - 12 Thousand Users? Better off using Citrix. TS alone doesn't scale to those kind of numbers, given the size of environment required. That goes for TS 2008 as well.
You might also want to read this - Citrix Publishes FAQ on Microsoft Application Virtualization and Citrix XenApp (formerly Presentation Server) Working Together - in the February 2008 archives.
The scaleability is not really limited by number of users, but by the complexity of the environment, i.e. number of applications, users with different requirements, non-Windows clients, multiple farms....
For this many users, unless they're all using the same applications, looking at a 3rd party management suite like Citrix XenApp, Quest Virtual Access Suite or Ericom would probably be wise.
Microsoft MVP - Terminal Server
Sr. Sales Engineer, Western USA & Canada
Quest Software, Provision Networks Division
Virtual Client Solutions
We are looking to use vmware, vista and wyse windows xp embedded thin clients, would this technology be available to us?
Hi, Tad Brockway here. I am a Product Unit Manager on the Windows Server team.   My team is focused