VMware has announced that View 3 is available. VMware's site says both that View 3 was formerly known as VMware VDI and that it includes VMware VDI—it replaces the product called VMware VDI and includes VMware Virtual Desktop Infrastructure.

According to the release announcing the product, View 3 is part of VMware's vClient initiative, which it announced at VMworld 2008. The application is aimed at combining the advantages of the "thick" desktop—a customizable, fully loaded PC—with the cost and administration advantages of thin-client computing.

View 3 includes several new features. Offline Desktop, which VMware calls an experimental feature, allows desktops to be "checked out" from a server to a PC then checked back in later. This feature allows users access to virtual desktops, even without network access.

Other new features include Virtual Printing, which allows users to print to different network and local printers without specific drivers. Multimedia Redirection redirects media streams from the server to the user so they're decoded locally, improving performance.

View 3 should also make things easier for administrators with VMware View Manager 3, which provides a management platform for different kinds of sessions. View Manager connects to hosted desktops, physical PCs, and user sessions running on Windows Terminal Servers.

More information about View 3 and a trial download are available at the View 3 site.