Deepening Ties Between Citrix and Microsoft
The move of Kirill Tatarinov into the CEO role at Citrix from his previous role of leading the Business Solutions Division at Microsoft has resulted in more willingness for collaboration between these two software powerhouses, particularly in the areas of Windows 10, Office 365, and Mobile Device Management.
Examples of the deepening relationship between the two companies are being seen through the inclusion of support for Microsoft Azure Resource Manager (ARM) in XenApp and XenDesktop services provided by Citrix Cloud (previously known as Citrix Workspace Cloud), the recent announcement that Citrix XenApp 'express' would be the future replacement for the Azure Remote App services, and strategically, the announcement by Citrix that they will use the Microsoft Azure platform for the delivery of all "As-A-Service" solutions, standardising on the infrastructure platform for their service control-planes.
Also of interest to those customers looking to deploy VDI environment within the public Cloud, is the announcement that customers with Windows Software Assurance on a per-user basis will be able to host Microsoft Windows 10 Enterprise (Current Branch) for Business images on Microsoft Azure. This radical departure from previous licensing model opens up the use of the true VDI deployments within Azure, rather than the up until now method using a Hosted Shared Desktop model. Availability of the Windows 10 VDI service via the Azure Marketplace is expected sometime in the rapidly approaching Q4 2016.
Whilst we still firmly believe that Hosted Shared Desktop is one of the more efficient methods to deliver desktops and applications to end users with an appropriate TCO, the option of full VDI is appealing for those use cases where it is warranted.
These developments are encouraging, we hope and anticipate that the amendments to the licensing restrictions around VDI and the public cloud are available to other players in the market, preventing a degree of vendor lock in, and increasing competition within the market.