In 2013 Citrix merged their application and desktop delivery solutions XenApp and XenDesktop into XenDesktop 7. XenDesktop 7 (XD7) combined the ability to provide remote access to single- and multi-user Windows platforms improving their FlexCast technology.
Besides that we got rid of the ancient IMA architecture, what I liked most was the fact that there’s now one single product to offer access to single- and multi-users applications AND desktops: XenDesktop. Nonetheless we had to let our beloved XenApp go. After numerous evolutions and name changes (WinFrame >> MetaFrame >> Presentation Server >> XenApp) this was the end of an era. But, Citrix did skip the cursed version 6 for the XenDesktop product range. Hooray!
Virtual desktop word bingo
In May 2013 I shared my thoughts about the virtual desktop word bingo we as an industry got ourselfs into. In the article I expressed my displeasure of the productnames XenApp and XenDesktop. Unless you’re a well trained Citrix professional it’s likely your assuming XenApp is for applications and XenDesktop for Desktops, a lot of my customers do.
With XenDesktop 7 this was no longer an issue, there’s one single product that provides access to hosted applications or desktops, both private and shared. Sure enough this was confusing for the traditional XenApp customers, did Citrix abandon XenApp? Where should the go now, Remote Desktop Services?
To offer a smooth transition from XenApp to XenDesktop 7 the “App Edition” license was available which could only provide hosted applications / desktops from multi-users systems (XenApp running FMA).
Unfortunately Citrix didn’t offer a smooth path for customers with the Advanced edition, Bram Wolfs wrote about this in “XenDesktop 7, are XenApp Advanced customers left in the dark?”. And since this was the first release where FMA was used on multi-user systems there where some features absent, Shaun Ritchie collected them in “XenApp 6.5 vs XenDesktop 7 App Edition”.
IMHO these were minor issues which affected a subset of the customers which could be solved with good guidance by Citrix and their partners.
In (January) 2014 the evolution of XD7 was announced which offers ‘Hybrid Cloud Provisioning” and a whole lot of other enhancements. Unlike the title suggest this product was not named XenBroker 7.5, nor was it XenDesktop 7.5. No, Citrix launced XenApp 7.5.
“New Citrix XenApp 7.5 makes it simple to deliver any Windows app to an increasingly mobile workforce, while leveraging the cost saving and elasticity of hybrid clouds and the security of mobile device management. Learn more at https://www.citrix.com/xenapp
Hear more about it in this video!”
So we’re back to the situation we were before:
Reluctance or an inability to make up one’s mind; irresolution.
So what has led Citrix to this indecision? We can only guess what the real reason is, but if you’re active on Twitter you might have seen some wild guesses and speculations. According to Citrix XenApp is ‘back by popular demand’, analysts say “Q3 earnings call did show a pretty weak EUC for Citrix”.
I can only imagine that customers did not grasp the concept of a single product name to consolidate single- and multi-user application and desktop delivery. Maybe customers would have understood better if they started with a new product name (a proven strategy at Citrix) like XenBroker or XenIca,
Feel free to leave a comment and share your thoughts.