Citrix is planning desktop virtualisation software for next year, targeted at companies that want to save money and increase security by centralising PC images and data.

At its iForum conference this week in Las Vegas, Citrix announced XenDesktop, desktop-virtualisation software that grows out of its purchase of XenSource.

XenDesktop, available next year, will support virtual Windows desktops. Virtual architectures could save money and increase security by having all desktops under IT's centralised control.

Citrix is formalising virtualisation software it acquired when it bought XenSource. This includes Citrix XenServer, which is for managing server virtualisation and is based on the Xen virtualisation engine. The new product line ranges from Citrix XenServer Express Edition, a free single-server platform, to Citrix XenServer Enterprise Edition.

Citrix has also introduced a feature to make dialling phone numbers from within applications possible through its Presentation Server product.

New software supports click-to-call features within any application supported by Presentation Server. This new capability, called EasyCall, means that if a phone number appears in an application, the user can click on it and a call will be placed.

The feature requires a desktop client and a network gateway. The appliance interprets the number, and sets up a bridge between caller and recipient through the corporate PBX. EasyCall works with any phone system, Citrix said.

Using EasyCall, customers also can embed an XML call-now button in web applications, making the client software unnecessary. A user who clicks receives a phone call from the appliance and when the user picks up, hears the phone ringing to the party who was called.

EasyCall comes standard with platinum editions of Citrix NetScaler for web applications and Citrix Presentation Server for Windows applications. The capability is broader than Citrix's alliance with Cisco to support click-to-dial in conjunction with Cisco's Call Manager.

Also at iForum, Cirix has introduced a tool for its Presentation Server that records application sessions and stores them in video files for later scrutiny.

Called SmartAuditor, customers can set the tool to record only certain sessions using parameters such as user, application and the sensitivity of the transaction, Citrix said.

The files it creates are digitally signed and time-stamped so they can be used to fulfil auditing and compliance requirements. Auditors can view actual application sessions and see for themselves whether security and access policies were upheld.

SmartAuditor is standard with the platinum edition of Presentation Server.

In addition, Citrix has introduced a new Presentation Server feature that can summon up or turn down server capacity based on demand or on policies. The company describes this feature as an energy-saving measure.