A few weeks ago, I posted an article asking you to submit questions that you would like me to ask Citrix executives while I was at Citrix iForum Global 2004. I was able to get answers to most of the questions you posted, either from the sessions or in interviews I had with various Citrix executives. The answers posted here are not specific answers from a certain person per se, but rather an aggregation (since I asked the same questions to several people over the course of the event).
Will Citrix ever lower the cost of MetaFrame? What about creating a lower priced “lite” version of MetaFrame Presentation Server?
In every case, Citrix folks answered this question from the perspective of market segments. They said that you can segment your market by size or by vertical, but that the way that people support their users transcends company size.
Citrix must understand how customers view architecture. Any offering in the small and medium space must be a turnkey, simple, wizard-driven product.
Citrix can learn from their channel here. How does the channel support this space? Citrix will make products that fit into that model.
When will we see a 64-bit version of MetaFrame Presentation Server?
In the breakout session about “Citrix Futures,” the presenter said that we could expect a 64-bit version of MetaFrame in the “R2” timeframe, which Microsoft is scheduling for late 2005.
In interviews with the Citrix product managers, they reminded me that the feature set for the Extended Technologies version of 64-bit Windows is not yet complete, and we have to see if the “core” features that will be beneficial to Terminal Server uses will make it into the final release.
How is Citrix’s Microsoft relationship?
Citrix spent a lot of time at this year’s show talking about their Microsoft relationship. Microsoft’s Terminal Server Product Manager (Mike Schutz) was there, and one of the breakout sessions was a panel discussion that covered this topic.
Most of the discussion was “Rah rah!” drunken love marketing noise, but there were a few good points.
As for background information, 88% of Citrix’s current customers use Win32-based client devices. Also, Microsoft gets about USD $287 million in incremental revenue thanks to Citrix. This means that the relationship is very important to both companies.
The core message was that there is no reason for Microsoft to compete with Citrix. Since Microsoft still gets their full revenue (Server and Terminal Server CALs) when Citrix is sold, Citrix is actually helping Microsoft, and Microsoft would be crazy to try to take that away from Citrix. Instead, Microsoft is focusing on the platform, leaving third-party ISVs to focus on base functionality.
Another key change in the Microsoft relationship is that Citrix is now starting to engage with the Office group instead of focusing purely on the TS group. This allows them to treat the Office group within Microsoft just like any other software vendor. We’ll be seeing a lot more in this space, and in fact the Office group had a large presence at iForum this year.
What is Citrix’s strategy for Linux?
With regards to Citrix Secure Gateway, the current technology is based on Apache, so it’s future proofed to a large extent in that they could easily port it to any platform. From a business standpoint, they’re looking at customer preferences.
With regards to MetaFrame Presentation Server for Linux, Citrix looks at this quite often. They claim that Linux currently has less than 2% of the corporate desktop market, so the opportunity is not too large.
And even if they did build a product, how would they get it to market? Their current channel is a Windows channel. Look at how poorly MetaFrame for UNIX is doing.
Why am I so gossipy?
Someone posted this as a question. I thought it was pretty funny so I asked each of the Citrix executives I spoke with. Each of them laughed, and the common answer was something like they figured I was just trying to make a name for myself or sensationalize non events.