Friday Notebook, November 17: Citrix to repurchase stock; BlackBerry on security and EMM

Also: The OSS home of Octoblu; mobile threat defense (again!); NoMachine version 6; Azure AD stats; virtual mobile infrastructure; and more.

This is our weekly log of everything that’s happened in the EUC, EMM, and desktop virtualization space, collected and co-written by Jack and Gabe.

Industry news

Citrix announced a plan to repurchase $2 billion worth of shares over the course of 2018. This usually happens when a company believes their stock is undervalued. Buying a large portion of it back results in fewer shares on the open market (increasing demand), while also allowing the company to sell the shares back to public when the price increases. To accomplish this (and this is likely a drastic oversimplification), they’ll use their existing cash assets to buy shares on the open market, while also raising $750 million through an “underwritten public offering of its 4.500% Senior Notes due 2027,” which basically means they’re selling bonds that will be repaid in 2027.

A few weeks ago, we learned that Citrix was winding down Octoblu as part of the most recent restructuring. Now we know Octoblu’s future, and it’s as open source software under the MIT license. Citrix did the right thing here, and the community seems to be happy with the move.

NoMachine announced version 6 of their desktop virtualization platform, which is known primarily to companies that primarily run Linux desktops. They also support Windows and Mac OS X as host OSes, though, which makes them unique in the industry. The latest release includes expanded H.264 support, automatic reconnection, and enhanced clustering, among other things.

There were a couple of Microsoft EUC announcements to note this week:

  • Intune can now manage Google Play Protect, Android’s built-in mobile threat defense capabilities. We’re hearing about MTD almost every week now!
  • The Azure AD team released stats about syncing and federation. Almost everybody’s using Azure AD Connect to sync their directories; for authentication, almost half of customers are using ADFS, a quarter are using password hash sync, and a fifth just do cloud authentication only.
  • Not quite ready for Windows as a Service? Microsoft is giving Enterprise and Education customers that are on Windows 10 version 1511 an extra six months of support. (Via Mary Jo Foley.) Modern servicing is just going to take a while to get used to, but hopefully last minute extensions like this don’t become a common occurrence.

The BlackBerry Security Summit took place this week. There weren’t any headline EMM announcements, rather the focus was on their ambitions as a broader security vendor—especially in IoT. Interestingly, John Chen said “I don’t want to be an EMM provider. It’s a lousy market. If Microsoft wants the market, they can have it. We’re in endpoint management, the IoT world.” Read more about the BlackBerry Security Summit from Colin Steele. (Colin is planning a few more articles, so we’ll make sure to share them.)

The assets of virtual mobile infrastructure vendor Hypori have been purchase by Intelligent Waves, LLC, a small consultancy and solutions provider. (Via VMblog.) VMI is like VDI, but with Android VMs and mobile clients. We knew the niche for VMI would be small, but at this point, it’s not clear that we’ll ever see VMI the way it was originally imagined. Stay tuned, and we’ll see what else we can learn.

Our blog posts

Jack: Catching up on Quest Software and KACE Cloud MDM. KACE Cloud MDM is the spiritual successor to the KACE K3000 and Dell EMM.

Gabe: What is VMware Workspace ONE, really? We found it difficult to concisely explain what VMware Workspace ONE really was. After meeting with some of the team at VMware, we finally have an answer.

Gabe: VMware's view on IoT and IT/OT convergence. While there hasn't been any horizontal IoT use cases in EUC, IoT is alive and well in enterprise Operational Technology departments, and VMware thinks they'll lean more on IT as time goes by.

Jack: Two augmented reality and wearable device use cases that made me say “Ah-ha!” The horizontal use cases may be limited, but a relatable vertical use case can be enlightening.

Jack: Track mobile costs with telecom expense management software. (In TechTarget’s Access magazine.) TEM software can help IT administrators gain insight into mobile users and uncover cost savings. It's often part of larger mobility services these days.

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