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What’s New in VMware Horizon 7.2 and Horizon Client 4.5

We have just announced the general availability of VMware Horizon 7.2 and Horizon Client 4.5. This is a significant release for our flagship product, with improvements across the board—from scalability and user experience to deep technical innovations and improved policy controls. Let us dive straight in and highlight the key technical advances this release delivers.

Horizon 7.2

What&#rsquo;s New Highlights

Horizon Help Desk Tool
  • Provides user-session details for the Horizon 7 environment.
  • Single console for troubleshooting and solving user issues.
Workspace ONE mode
  • Forces using Workspace ONE when the client supports it.
  • Optionally blocks clients that do not support it.
Reuse AD account for instant-clone pool
  • Create a new computer account only if it does not exist.
Graphics settings from snapshot
  • SVGA settings / vGPU profile from master snapshot.
ADM template removal
  • Only ADMX in 7.2.
Increased scale
  • Pod , Cloud Pod Architecture, and Connection Server.
Storage improvements
  • Storage DRS cluster, storage policy-based management, encryption, local storage.

Horizon Help Desk Tool

The Horizon Help Desk Tool provides a tailored troubleshooting interface for the help desk that is installed by default on the Connection Servers. To access the Horizon Help Desk Tool, navigate to https:///helpdesk, where CS_FQDN is the fully qualified domain name of the Connection Server, or click the Help Desk button in the Horizon Administrator console.

The Horizon Help Desk Tool reduces workload for administrators and provides quick troubleshooting and metrics for the help desk.

The tool allows help desk staff to easily perform the following tasks on the user machine:

  • Restart, Logoff, Reset, and Disconnect
  • Remote Assistance
  • Send Message

You can obtain the following metrics for the client and virtual machine:

  • Client
    • Username
    • Client IP, Name, and OS
    • Protocol, TX Bandwidth, and Frame Rate
  • VM
    • Computer Name
    • Agent Version
    • Session State and State Duration, Logon Time and Duration, and Session Duration
    • CPU, Memory, Latency, and Logon Segments
    • Connection Server
    • Pool
    • vCenter

To get logon segments in the help-desk feature, you need to enable timingProfiler writes to the event database on each Connection Server:

vdmadmin -I -timingProfiler -enable

For detailed information on the Horizon Help Desk Tool, see the VMware blog post Help&#rsquo;s on the Way with the New VMware Horizon Help Desk Tool.

Watch this quick demo of the Horizon Help Desk Tool to see it in action:

Workspace ONE Mode

Workspace ONE mode secures access to Horizon 7 by allowing applications and desktops to launch only from Workspace ONE. This setting enforces access policies per application or per desktop. You enable Workspace ONE mode on the Connection Servers. When a user connects to a Workspace ONE mode-enabled server in Horizon Client, they are redirected to the Workspace ONE portal to launch desktops or applications, and the Horizon Client will no longer show other items that are available to launch. You also have the option to disable clients that do not support Workspace ONE mode.

See Workspace ONE mode in action in this short demo:

Reuse AD Account for Instant-Clone Pool

You can now rebuild a virtual machine in an instant clone and keep all machine assignments by reusing the computer account.

Graphics Settings from Snapshot

Instant-clone desktop pools inherit graphics settings from the vCenter Server parent-VM snapshot:

  • Memory
  • Number of monitors (with a new maximum of four)
  • Resolution

Just as with the SVGA settings, the vGPU profile for an instant-clone desktop pool is automatically selected when you select the snapshot of the vCenter Server parent VM.

All Active Directory Group Policy Templates Are Available as ADMX

All policy settings have been migrated to ADMX, and ADM is now deprecated and no longer included with Horizon 7. With all settings now in the ADMX templates, managing Horizon 7 is more streamlined and simpler than ever because now all templates can be placed in a central store, and no redundant copies need to be made into Sysvol.


Horizon 7.2 increases scalability for Cloud Pod Architecture deployments to now support up to 120,000 sessions across 12 View pods and five sites. Additionally, Horizon 7 can now support 4,000 desktops with a single VMware vCenter Server for linked-clone, full-clone and instant-clone deployments.

Local Storage Support for Instant Clones

You now have the option to use local storage as a low-cost storage tier for instant clones. However, for high-availability events, this requires careful pool capacity planning and adds complexity to vSphere host maintenance, which you would not have with vSAN.

Ability to Select Storage DRS Clusters for Full Clones

It is no longer required to select all storage devices belonging to a Storage DRS Cluster; you can now directly select the cluster for easier administration.

vSAN and Storage Policy-Based Management Improvements

Horizon 7.2 adds support for vSAN encryption and provides updated storage policy-based management for finer granularity.

Horizon Agent 7.2 for RDSH

What&#rsquo;s New Highlights

Smart Policies for applications
  • Extend support from desktop to remote applications.
Session pre-launch
  • Launch application on broker login.
  • Can be enabled per application.

Smart Policies for Applications

Smart Policies give administrators granular control of a user&#rsquo;s desktop experience. You can dynamically control a variety of Horizon 7 features based on user, device, and location. Horizon 7.2 now introduces Smart Policies for RDSH applications. Smart Policies for applications, together with tags, can control the behavior of published applications.

Following are client properties mapped to User Environment Manager properties:

Volatile Registry Key User Environment Manager Property Value
viewClient_Broker_GatewayLocation Client location Internal/External
viewClient_Launch_Matched_Tags Launch tag(s) Tags (comma)
viewClient_Launch_ID Pool name Pool ID

Edit the Connection Server settings to add a tag for a desktop pool. The tag can be any string value, for example, Internal or External.

Then, from User Environment Manager, create a Smart Policy and reference the tag name.

Or if you want this policy to apply only to specific applications, you can make the condition more specific, for example, only for applications that have Secure in their pool name:

But remember that the pool name that launched the session is evaluated at user-session launch time, so you cannot differentiate between applications on the same farm. If you want to differentiate, separate the applications with nonmatching settings into different farms and use OR to add all the applications to the conditions.

Session Pre-Launch

Administrators can configure a published application so that an application and remote desktop session are launched immediately after a user has authenticated to the Connection Server. When the user starts the session from Horizon Client, the session loads almost instantly. The pre-launch setting enables faster start times for frequently used applications. From the Horizon 7 Administrator console, you can configure pre-launch, as follows:

It is recommended to enable this option only for applications that the user will almost certainly use immediately after launching, to minimize unnecessary load on the farm. To further reduce impact, you can set a timeout for unused pre-launched applications, as follows:

To minimize impact even further, you can set a reasonable maximum amount of users, as determined by testing on the RDSH servers, and configure session load-balancing based on CPU and memory load, leaving enough headroom for boot storms.

For more information, see Configuring Load Balancing for RDS Hosts in View Administration.

Horizon Agent 7.2

What&#rsquo;s New Highlights

Recursive Unlock
  • Single unlock of the client device also unlocks the virtual desktop or published desktop.
USB over virtual channel
  • USB-redirection port consolidation.
HTML5 content redirection (beta)
  • Redirect HTML5 from agent to client.
Blast Extreme SHA-256
  • Upgraded to use the latest security algorithms.
Horizon Agent DX11
  • Complete rewrite of the D3D9 renderer.
Skype for Business GA
  • General availability.

Recursive Unlock

The Recursive Unlock feature unlocks all remote sessions after the client machine has been unlocked. After the user logs in to the server, remote sessions such as published applications, RDSH desktops, and Windows desktops are unlocked. This feature removes unnecessary authentication steps for the user.

Requirements for this feature include:

  • The Windows client device must be domain-joined
  • The user logging in to the client must be the same user logged in to the remote session
  • Enable the client setting Log in as current user
  • Enable the Group Policy setting Unlock remote sessions when the client machine is unlocked in ComputerPoliciesVMware Horizon Client ConfigurationSecurity.

USB over Virtual Channel

You can enable USB redirection without opening the firewall port 32111. USB over virtual channel allows USB over a side channel.

Configure this registry setting as follows:

  • Key path: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREVMware, Inc.VMware VDMAgentConfiguration
  • Key name: UsbVirtualChannelEnabled
  • Key value: true

HTML5 Redirection (Tech Preview)

The HTML5 redirection feature allows video content redirection for websites that do not use Adobe Flash Player. Benefits of this feature include reduced CPU usage and smoother video playback.

HTML5 redirection requires:

  • Windows 7 or Windows 10 Enterprise for the agent and client OS, with VMware Horizon 7 HTML5 redirection package (available by request)
  • Google Chrome 58 with extension, from Chrome Web Store
  • Setting URL lists in the registry, for example:






Note: Tech Preview features and capabilities arenot supported for production deployment. These features are available to test in a lab or UAT environment as a preview of potential upcoming innovations. You can provide feedback to improve these features throughVMware Communities.

Horizon Virtualization Pack for Skype for Business

Optimized audio and video calls are now possible with Skype for Business inside a virtual desktop without negatively affecting the virtual infrastructure and overloading the network. All media processing takes place on the client machine instead of in the virtual desktop during Skype audio and video calls. Using native Skype codecs, bandwidth usage is equivalent to native Skype for Business calls.

For detailed information on this feature, which is now generally available, see the VMware blog post VMware Horizon Virtualization Pack for Skype for Business (Beta) Is Now Available!.

Horizon Client 4.5

The Horizon Client has been updated, too, with availability of an XBox One Client in the Windows store, a new installer UI for Windows, dual-monitor support for HTML Access, SSO for RHEL/CentOS 7.x, and KDE and CDR support for Linux.

What&#rsquo;s New Highlights

For more information, see the Release Notes on the Horizon Clients Documentation page.

With all these great additions, it is easy to see why we are so excited about this release. We invite you to see it all yourself by visiting the Horizon 7.2 download page and the Horizon Clients download page.


The post What&#rsquo;s New in VMware Horizon 7.2 and Horizon Client 4.5 appeared first on VMware End-User Computing Blog.

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Experience High-Performance Graphics with Free NVIDIA GRID & VMware Blast Extreme Test Drive

It can be quite challenging for IT administrators to provide great user experience for high-performance desktops remotely. With VMware Blast Extreme and its new adaptive transport capabilities, we made this possible.

With all the excitement a few weeks ago around the announcement of VMware Horizon 7.1 and Blast Extreme Adaptive Transport, a new NVIDIA GRID test drive provides a quick way for you to get your hands on a demo environment within minutes—all without leaving your office or spinning up internal resources and/or infrastructure.

VMware and NVIDIA&#rsquo;s free &#rsquo;try GRID&#rdquo; demo gives you instant access to hours of NVIDIA GRID vGPU acceleration experience powered by NVIDIA Tesla M60 graphics cards running Horizon 7.1. This experience includes a Windows desktop with 2D and 3D industry-leading enterprise applications, including:

  • Microsoft Office;
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader;
  • Autodesk AutoCAD;
  • Dassault Systèmes SOLIDWORKS;
  • Esri ArcGIS Pro;
  • Siemens NX; and
  • More.

VMware and NVIDIA work together to solve the challenges of delivering consistent user experience for professional graphics workloads in both LAN and WAN environments. With the Blast Extreme protocol, users experience rich, immersive virtual desktop experiences by leveraging the power of NVIDIA Tesla M60 graphics card. This technology provides not only graphics acceleration, but also H.264 encode capabilities. Users caccess 3D graphics applications on any device in any location without compromising user experience, while maintaining enterprise security. With NVIDIA GRID and Horizon, a true workstation-like experience is now possible on a virtual workstation.

Try GRID desktops are available in multiple regions across the world, allowing IT administrators to try both transcontinental and intercontinental scenarios. You can test virtual desktops in San Francisco, Amsterdam and Singapore to experience how Blast Extreme with its adaptive transport intelligently handles varying latencies and packet loss for delivery anywhere in the world.

Download our latest Horizon clients, and sign up for try GRID today to see for yourself how well Horizon and NVIDIA GRID deliver the best experience anywhere in the world.

Because you liked this blog:

  • Innovation In User Experience: A Closer Look at New Blast Extreme Protocol
  • Enterprise-Grade Monitoring with NVIDIA GRID vGPU & Horizon 7
  • Manufacturers Increase Productivity & Reduce Time to Market with Horizon & NVIDIA GRID

The post Experience High-Performance Graphics with Free NVIDIA GRID & VMware Blast Extreme Test Drive appeared first on VMware End-User Computing Blog.

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Innovation in User Experience: A Closer Look at New Blast Extreme Protocol

Last year, VMware announced the Blast Extreme protocol with VMware Horizon 7. Based on customer feedback since then, we continue and further improve the user experience.

The VMware product teams now extended Blast Extreme with an adaptive transport that pushes the user experience envelope even on non-ideal networks. Blast Extreme with adaptive transport has significant advantages compared to its predecessors. It dynamically adjusts to varying bandwidth, latency and packet loss. These innovations deliver an exceptional user experience across a wide variety of network types, including corporate LAN, public Wi-Fi and mobile networks—all without changing the existing infrastructure.

In addition, Blast supports a wide variety of standard endpoints, including thin clients (over 125+), desktops, laptops and mobile devices. Blast Extreme also works over TCP port 443 and UDP port 443 and delivers a secure user experience leveraging SSL technology.

Blast Extreme&#rsquo;s adaptive transport delivers exceptional performance improvements for file transfers, frame rate and bandwidth consumption. With adaptive transport, Blast Extreme users will experience up to 4-6x improvements for file transfers when connecting over high-latency networks. Frame rates, which represent the quality of user experience delivered, are also greatly improved, while consuming 50% less bandwidth compared to our previous releases.

loss, high-latency and low-bandwidth environments. We tested video performance with the latest Blast Extreme at 1.5 mbps bandwidth, 200ms latency and up to 20% packet loss, achieving up to 12x higher performance than competitive protocols.

Here is a video sample of Blast Extreme in the real world. I connected from a coffee shop near my house to my desktop running in Singapore data center. The round trip time was around 195ms, and I was experiencing less than 5% packet loss.

Blast Extreme WAN Experience: California to Singapore

Blast Extreme provides three types of connection options for users:

  1. Excellent (TCP only)
  2. Typical (default, mixed UDP/TCP)
  3. Poor (UDP only)

By default, Blast Extreme uses our new adaptive transport as part of the &#rsquo;Typical&#rdquo; network condition option, which is the best choice for the vast majority of users. This uses UDP networking for protocol traffic and TCP networking for control and broker communication. The protocol efficiently handles the varying latencies and packet loss found in typical WAN environments. This setting works very well for 99% of users. If UDP networking cannot be used due to ports being blocked or other issues, Blast Extreme seamlessly falls back to TCP networking.

The &#rsquo;Excellent&#rdquo; setting is TCP only (available since 7.0) and ideal for the corporate LAN, where the network is excellent with very little latency and packet loss.

The &#rsquo;Poor&#rdquo; setting uses UDP networking for control, broker and protocol traffic. To use this setting, IT administrators must deploy VMware Unified Access Gateway. &#rsquo;Poor&#rdquo; is for customers with such high packet loss that they cannot get a connection to the Horizon connection server. An example is when users connect with over 20% packet loss in their environments.

In summary, when it comes to delivering an exceptional user experience for any user, in any environment and on any endpoint, Blast Extreme is the best protocol in the industry. The new Blast Extreme with adaptive transport is available for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS and Android users using our latest 4.4 Horizon Clients. Every IT administrator deploying virtualized desktops and applications should try out these new enhancements. Download Horizon 7.1 and latest Horizon 4.4 clients today!

Because you liked this blog:

  • VMware Horizon Blast Extreme Primer: Everything an Admin Needs to Know
  • Introducing Horizon 7.1, Horizon Apps & Horizon Cloud
  • IDC MarketScape: Worldwide Virtual Client Computing Software

The post Innovation in User Experience: A Closer Look at New Blast Extreme Protocol appeared first on VMware End-User Computing Blog.

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[Podcast] VMware End-User Computing on Frontline Chatter

What&#rsquo;s next for VMware End-User Computing (EUC)? Pat Lee, vice president of product management for cloud apps and desktops at VMware, recently talked about this and much more on EUC podcast Frontline Chatter.

&#rsquo;We&#rsquo;re always going to be improving and making constant changes each quarter to address customer concerns, figure out the use cases and provide a competitive and truly strong solution in the marketplace.&#rdquo;

Listen to the episode on SoundCloud to hear Pat&#rsquo;s thoughts on the evolution of VMware EUC, his favorite VMware projects and the crazy world that is the Internet of Things:

Pat talks about how VMware has evolved desktop transformation:

&#rsquo;In the last 36 months, we had a foundation in place that was good, but we really needed to scale it to be more successful in the market. We focused on some key areas. One, how do we deliver that end-user PC experience to as many users as possible? Early on, when you saw VDI, it was a great tactical solution when security, compliance and call centers were required, but it didn&#rsquo;t give you all the things you expected from a user experience: seamless web cam use, seamless local storage access, etc. All those things have to come into play so you can provide that native PC experience remotely. We made a big focus on: How can we expand our client story? How can we expand all the things that are required to deliver that rich user experience?&#rdquo;

[Read more: The Next Horizon! Introducing Horizon 7.1, Horizon Apps & Horizon Cloud]

On Blast Extreme, Pat explains how trends, such as increased mobility, drove the project:

&#rsquo;Our goal was to look at how things were changing. Most display protocols that we&#rsquo;d been working with and going up against were designed for the LAN, for a well secured corporate network. Sure there&#rsquo;s some remote access that happens with it, but a lot of it&#rsquo;s really designed around LAN delivery, network on-prem delivery. As we looked at how things were changing, desktop-as-a-service was becoming more viable. So public internet is coming into play—a lot more public internet usage is happening to connect the desktops. A lot more mobility—iOS, there&#rsquo;s Android. How do we give you a good experience for cases where I need to work on a laptop in a coffee shop for hours at a time, where battery life matters? From a codec perspective, what can we do to maximize the battery life of the client so you can work with mobility? … How do we focus Blast Extreme when the world is changing—more mobile, public internet, wireless delivery—and with more portable devices where battery life matters? So we sat down and said, if we can leverage things like industry-standard codecs, like H.264—which every device you have today, even refrigerators in your house, have a H.264 decoder in them—we can do hardware offloads, we can get maximum battery life … We were able to have a 10-hour desktop session on an iPad using Blast Extreme because we&#rsquo;re leveraging hardware … Those types of things bring a whole new level into what you can do when you look at mobility.&#rdquo;

[Read more: VMware Horizon 7 Blast Extreme Primer—Everything an Admin Needs to Know]

On the future of VMware EUC, Pat talks about strategically leveraging the cloud:

&#rsquo;How do we move to a cloud-centric vision for EUC? That doesn&#rsquo;t mean everything goes in the cloud but leveraging the cloud to solve critical problems, and for people that want to go all-in on the cloud, to give them a great cloud solution. We introduced Horizon Air Hybrid-Mode last year, the ability to have a cloud-managed, local delivery of VDI, and that was Phase One … With Horizon Air Hybrid-Mode, you see the first step in how we can deliver an on-prem solution that gives you a fast, low latency, high performance solution, but with you getting out of the infrastructure management game … If we can simplify the mundane tasks of delivery so you can focus on what you really care about—&#lsquo;how do I get that desktop to the user, or the app to the user&#rsquo;—in the simplest way, we will have done our job.&#rdquo;

[Read more: Here Comes … Horizon Cloud]

Catch the complete conversation here.

The post [Podcast] VMware End-User Computing on Frontline Chatter appeared first on VMware End-User Computing Blog.

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The Next Horizon! Introducing Horizon 7.1, Horizon Apps & Horizon Cloud

If you took a look at desktop and application virtualization in the past and thought, &#rsquo;This is just too complex and costly to make the move,&#rdquo; now is the time to revisit your decision.

Today, we are excited to announce new technologies and offerings that drive the cost and complexity out of getting started and allow you to address more use cases than ever before.

So, whether you are an existing VMware Horizon customer, new to desktop and application virtualization or using a competing solution, we have something here for you.

To begin, let me start with three new technology innovations in our Horizon portfolio.

1. Just-in-time Management Platform (JMP)

When it comes to JMP-we have brought together our best-of-breed application and desktop management technologies (which incidentally do not require full VM control), including:

  • Instant Clones for ultra-fast desktop provisioning
  • App Volumes for real-time app delivery
  • User Environment Manager for contextual policy management.

In doing so—we are allowing you to dynamically scale desktops and apps to drive down costs without compromising user experience. What&#rsquo;s more, we are extending JMP capabilities to address not only virtual desktops, but also published apps functioning both on premises and in the cloud. This will allow you to extend the benefits of JMP across any Horizon virtual desktop or app deployment within your environment.

Here&#rsquo;s a quick look at JMP with Instant Clones for Horizon published apps:

2. Digital Workspace Experience with BLAST & BEAT

So, what is BEAT and how does this support a better user experience across more network conditions?

Well, BEAT stands for Blast Extreme Adaptive Transport—our new UDP-based transport as part of our Blast Extreme protocol. We designed BEAT to ensure great user experience across varying network conditions—especially those with low bandwidth, high latency and high packet loss.

With BEAT, we are seeing phenomenal improvements out of the box with Horizon 7.1 (our new release) versus Horizon 7.0. In fact, we are seeing up to 50% improved bandwidth utilization out of the box. Moreover, we are seeing six-time faster file transfers for transcontinental connections (~200 ms) with only slight packet loss.

So whether your end users are working from the coffee shop using WiFi or mobile networks or downloading video from half way across the globe-they can enjoy a great user experience. And one more thing: In addition to BEAT supporting Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and Chrome, Blast now supports over 125 Windows and Linux thin clients.

3. Skype for Business

Last quarter, VMware announced that we are working with Microsoft to support a tech preview of Skype for Business with Horizon. Well, now it&#rsquo;s here. We are pleased to bring all Horizon 7.1 customers a tech preview of Microsoft Skype for Business. We designed the solution to prevent hair-pinning and allow all traffic to pass from client to client to minimize bandwidth utilization and packet loss. To start with, the tech preview will support Windows clients. Stay tuned for other clients to follow shortly.

Bringing these Technologies Innovations to Horizon

We are excited to bring all of these new innovations to Horizon 7.1. But, we are equally happy to bring JMP and BEAT to two brand new offerings: Horizon Cloud and Horizon Apps.

Introducing Horizon Cloud

Horizon Cloud is our next-gen Desktop as a Service offering. Horizon Cloud allows you to manage their desktops through a cloud service and pair this service with cloud-hosted infrastructure (IBM SoftLayer) or bring your own appliances (Dell/EMC, QCT or HDS) to the table. With Horizon Cloud, we added JMP capabilities into the service to streamline desktop management and BEAT for great user experience across high latency/high packet loss network conditions. We are also simplifying how you get started.

With Horizon Cloud, you now can buy a single license for as little as $16/user or $26/concurrent connection (infrastructure not included). You can then pair this service with the infrastructure of your choice—either BYO appliances or hosted infrastructure from VMware. This makes your buying decision easier. If you have a mix of use cases that require some of your infrastructure to be on-prem and some in the cloud, you have one offering and license that covers you across both.

New Horizon Apps

Many of you asked us to come out with a stand-alone published app offering. And I&#rsquo;m excited to announce that it is here.

We wanted to make it easier for you than ever to deliver and manage these apps—and this is why we wove our JMP technologies into the mix.

Here is a quick look at the advantage of using JMP with published or virtualized apps over competing solutions, like PVS, based on tests and a paper conducted by Principle Technologies.

So, whether you are looking for an alternative to Citrix XenApp or simply need to deliver apps versus full virtual desktops to your end users as part of a broader application delivery strategy, we now have two great bundles to support you moving forward available at a fraction of the cost of Citrix XenApp today.

  1. Horizon Apps Standard: App Publishing (RDSH apps and Session-based Desktops, User Environment Manager and vSphere and vCenter.
  2. Horizon Apps Advanced: App Publishing (RDSH apps and/or session-based desktops), vSphere/vCenter and all of our JMP technologies (Instant Clones, App Volumes and User Environment Manager).

Special call out: If you are a Citrix customer, we also have tools and services that easily help you make the move.

Time to Take a Look

As you can see here—we have been hard at work. A big shout-out to our engineering teams here! We have focused on making virtual desktops and apps easier and more affordable than ever to set up and manage in the cloud and on premises.

So what are you waiting for? It is time to take a look, make the move and get started with Horizon.

The post The Next Horizon! Introducing Horizon 7.1, Horizon Apps & Horizon Cloud appeared first on VMware End-User Computing Blog.

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