Microsoft CTO Ray Ozzie calls Citrix Online's Products "Low End"

As everyone reading this is probably aware by now, two confidential executive memos were "leaked" from Microsoft a few weeks ago.

As everyone reading this is probably aware by now, two confidential executive memos were "leaked" from Microsoft a few weeks ago. Of course no one actually believes that these memos were really leaked. Instead it seems that Microsoft released these memos to tell the world, "Yes we have a strategy to compete against Google and Yahoo over the next ten years. (Read Robert X. Cringely's analysis of the memos for more details.)

One of the leaked memos was from Bill Gates, and the other was from Microsoft's Global CTO Ray Ozzie.

Because Ozzie's memo is over 5000 words, I didn't actually get time to read it until my 7+ hour flight from London to Washington. (I was returning from France were I attended PubForum and taught a class.)

Ozzie’s memo is a typical "call to arms"-type thing written to his direct reports where he encourages them to focus on seamless integration and generally be a cool company and beat Google and Yahoo and Skype and other Internet companies like that.

In one paragraph (fifth paragraph in "The Landscape" section), Ozzie mentions a laundry list of all the other companies that are doing cool stuff that can threaten Microsoft or that Microsoft should have done themselves. He specifically mentioned GoToMyPC and GoToMeeting as popular "low-end solutions for remote PC access and online meetings." He talks about this in the context of "even beyond our large competitors, tremendous software-and-services activity is occurring within startups and at the grassroots level."

So watch out Citrix! It looks like you have to defend your "GoTo" franchise in addition to ensuring that Presentation Server can continue to add value on top of Longhorn's Terminal Services.

What's the point of me writing about this? These statements from Ozzie, the CTO of Citrix's biggest partner, show that as Citrix expands its offerings, it's going to run into competitors all over the place. Citrix has to be able to compete with "friends" and partner with "enemies," because the lines are not very complex and very blurry. Even a Microsoft Global ISV Partner of the Year award can only protect so much.

The other interesting thing about these statements and the Citrix Online (GoToMyPC, etc.) / Microsoft relationship in general is that Microsoft uses WebEx to provide remote supoprt to customers instead of Citrix's GoToAssist. What's that about? Why didn't Ozzie call out WebEx in his memo too? And why isn't Microsoft using the technology of one of their biggest partners? (I mean come on, Citrix bought GoToAssst and those other online products back in 2003! You'd think that Microsoft would've switched by now... Of course maybe they didn't want a "low end" product like the ones that Citrix offers?)

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Microsoft hates Citrix and everything about it except that Citrix makes Microsoft money. So it's love/hate relationship.

Citrix will forever be Microsoft's bi+ch and Citrix will put up with the abuse for as long as they are making money.
I agree with that!
Well hopefully Citrix won’t counter by saying anything like, ‘we’re trying to move away from low-end operating systems’ because that would really add fuel to the fire.

I suppose this just confirms what we have all known for a long time. It pays to keep your enemies close and your friends even closer !!!
It's obvious that fOzzie bear doesn't know his technology if he's calling GotoMeeting a low-end solution.
How many CTO's to the point know anything about technology very few just a business man with a fancy title.
<b>Let’s first do the math :</b>
I came from Las Vegas iForum 2005 excited about GoToAssist. Almost the same day got a call from my Switzerland client (I am in California) that needed assistance with my application which later turned out to be environment related. I attempted to pay for GoToAssist which for NFR copy was just shy of $3,000 for the first year upfront. Ready to pay, I called Citrix and I was transferred to Citrix guys that support GoToAssist in California – unfortunately the lady in charge was… on vacation and they promised to call me back. Since the clock was ticking I decided to check what is going on with the old WebEx outfit at the time when Citrix is pioneering the on-line collaboration technology…

<b>The rest sounds like a paid advertisement for WebEx:</b>
I immediately got a fully functional evaluation available for 14 days directly from their website and after the first (and successful!) session paid $175 for the first month (3-month agreement) with the price dropping to $145 per month with a one year agreement and no (!) installation fee (they will also customize look-and feel to match your preferences for free). And guess what – WebEx “SMARTtech ” (similar to GoToMyPC) for 5 servers was included at no cost.

Now, <b>let’s go back to the original question</b> and figure out what the answer should be...

Best regards, ALEX
In things that make Citrix look bad or are not great for Citrix from a business standpoint? Brian, you call yourself objective but your writing does not reflect that. Though you may not say things directly, you sure do infer a lot with your writing skills.
Where exactly did Brian point out this was bad for Citrix? I'd say it puts a worse spin on Microsoft... but hey - aren't they trying to take over the world anyway?
Whilest VNC offers the same (with VNClistner) for free!!! Citrix is WAY WAY too expensive (not only for goto)..