I few weeks ago I wrote about the fact that Microsoft will add the capability for Windows 8.1 PCs to be manageable via MDM in addition to the traditional AD management scheme of today.
Commenters on that article thought that made sense, with Dan Shappir writing "MDM for Windows is effectively an admission by Microsoft that IT is no longer Windows centric, particularly for end-point devices. As a result, the management of Windows devices cannot be distinct and different from the management of iPads, Androids, etc. Yet another indication of the end of the Microsoft monopoly."
AppDetective commented that "Microsoft wants to manage devices and apps via InTune. That is purely an SMB play, but recently they are making that available to SCCM customers as well. The [MDM] API to me is all about brining the ecosystem under control until Microsoft decides they want to extend SCCM to do this also, or uplevel InTune with enterprise features to push management from Azure."
Whatever the reason, it's interesting that if Microsoft enables MDM as a management option for traditional Windows desktops, that means they could potentially open up the Windows management market to a lot of companies they haven't traditionally competed against.
One such company is Citrix. Citrix is going after the EMM space with MAM and MDM capabilities in their new XenMobile and Worx product lines. Many have argued over the years that Citrix wouldn't bit the hand that feeds them (Microsoft), and that due to some sort of agreement (whether real or implied), the two companies have a symbiotic relationship that will hurt both if either screws the other. But how much does that matter in 2013?
Consider that, in 2013:
- As Microsoft moves off grow beyond traditional Windows desktops and applications, Citrix's historic value prop loses value. So Microsoft's incentive to not screw Citrix diminishes.
- As Citrix grows their company and products beyond XenApp and XenDesktop, Citrix's desire to stay on the "good side" of Microsoft is diminished.
- If other EMM and MDM-type Vendors (MobileIron, Good, AirWatch, etc.) extend their products to hook into the MDM management of Windows desktop OSes, then Citrix will have to do that for their products too, (whether Microsoft wants them to or not), because Citrix can't afford to be the only EMM vendor that doesn't do this.
It's funny because we've always wondered whether Citrix would ever get into the desktop management business. (Last year Gabe wrote "Citrix and VMware both tip toe towards the "physical" desktop management space.") I guess now we can assume the answer is "yes?"
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