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?)