The term SpeedScreen is confusing with regards to Citrix because it actually includes five different technologies that have been created over the last several years. It is easy to get things mixed up, especially since some of the technologies do similar things.
This list of five variants is:
- SpeedScreen Latency Reduction
- SpeedScreen Browser Acceleration
- SpeedScreen Multimedia Acceleration
- SpeedScreen Flash Acceleration
- SpeedScreen Image Acceleration
Instead of fully explaining what these do and how they are different, I invite you to watch a 46 minute video that Brian Madden made for Citrix about SpeedScreen in 2006. It is a well produced and Brian’s depth of knowledge about SpeedScreen is well demonstrated. You will need Windows Media Player to play this.
During PortICA development I’ve been working on supporting SpeedScreen Browser Acceleration. Internally it is known as the SpeedBrowse project. It was started years ago in 2002 by developers in Sydney in the Advanced Products group. I recently solved a problem with the Mac OS X ICA client with PortICA (part of XenDesktop). I’ll write about that experience some other time.
SpeedScreen, collectively, has made a big difference to the acceptance of Presentation Server in more complex visual environments. This work has been continued in such projects as Pictor and Apollo.
I just watched Brian’s video today after having discovered the cache of Citrix technical videos . It is easy to take SpeedScreen for granted. The biggest request is to expand what it covers so that more can be supported. The latest push is to investigate ways of making things better for Flash.
The latest addition to the SpeedScreen family is SpeedScreen Progressive Display. You can see a demo of this technology at ESRI . I just tried this and it is impressive. The concept is to progressively draw something much like how Google Earth works. Instead of trying to draw lots of detail at once, the image is refined over time. This is important for rotates and moves where the user does not need all the information. In fact, the blurring of the image is not highly noticeable. I seem to remember that this was discovered while working on the Boeing/Citrix project to support Catia remotely.