IT management and virtualization specialist Citrix (CTXS) this week delivered on a dream of so many iPad users – a better Windows application experience on the Apple (AAPL) tablet platform. The news came out of Citrix’s Synergy conference in Anaheim and was announced as part of the first pieces of Project Avalon, the company’s multi-phased initiative to deliver Windows as a cloud service. The updates to Citrix’s product line make desktop-as-a-service initiatives, including those delivered on mobile devices such as the iPad, more accessible to the market. Here are the details.
First some background. Citrix announced these capabilities in the form of three major product updates this week to XenDesktop, XenMobile and Citrix ShareFile, all designed to make it easier for organizations to implement DaaS and collaborate in an increasingly mobile workplace environment.
XenDesktop 7, the new version, offers integrated Windows app and desktop mobility, easier deployment options and simplified management, all delivered through a cloud-style architecture, Citrix said. That’s the formal statement. But the use case is for iPad. Calvin Hsu, VP of product marketing for Desktop and Apps at Citrix told MSPmentor that the goal of the release is to transform the Windows application experience into a native mobile experience.
“For a while now you've been able to see a Windows desktop on an iPad or see Windows applications on a tablet, but that the applications were not really optimized for the device. You were lacking certain things, latency when you swipe,” Hsu told me. Citrix’s new technology makes Windows applications more aware of native touch and gestures on mobile devices. “You have the ability to manipulate a Windows application as if it were a regular application.”
The innovations were made in the presentation layer, he told me.
Citrix also announced XenMobile Enterprise edition, technology that combines mobile device, app and data management, a unified corporate app store, mobile productivity apps and one-touch, live support. The solution includes secure mobile productivity apps such as email and web browsing as well as secure document sharing, syncing and editing, the company said in its announcement.
Citrix also announced more file sharing capabilities for mobile workers. The company is introducing ShareFile Connectors to connect users to Microsoft Sharepoint, for example. In addition, mobile users will also get the ability to leverage the Microsoft Azure infrastructure and cloud data centers as stores for file share data.