The text of VMware's letter to partners positioning VDI the same day Citrix released XenDesktop 2.0

The day that Citrix released XenDesktop 2.0, VMware sent the following email to their partners: Dear , Yesterday, Citrix announced the immediate availability of XenDesktop, a collection of technologies intended to provide a virtualized desktop experience.

The day that Citrix released XenDesktop 2.0, VMware sent the following email to their partners:

Dear <name>,
Yesterday, Citrix announced the immediate availability of XenDesktop, a collection of technologies intended to provide a virtualized desktop experience. This competitive flash summarizes what was announced, explores specific claims that may cause confusion, and provides guidance for VMware sales professionals and partners.

Executive Summary

XenDesktop: What Can it Really Do, and How Much Does it Really Cost?

Citrix has widely promoted the concept of application streaming, and the idea that XenDesktop offers a "new PC at each log on". This message has created confusion, because to achieve a "new PC at each log on", multiple products must be integrated. Evidence of this confusion is also in the press. The Register recently published Citrix's XenDesktop can fly you to the moon, an article about misleading product claims by Citrix. Brian Madden also examines Citrix XenDesktop pricing and competition with Citrix's own XenApp (Presentation Server) products in his blog entry Citrix XenDesktop pricing is out-of-whack. One of the main value propositions of a virtual desktop is that all your applications work in a VDI environment. By bundling XenApp (Presentation Server) into their desktop solution, Citrix is making customers use XenApp (Presentation Server) for application deployment which doesn't work for many applications. In addition, customers will have to pay the additional CAPEX and management costs for XenApp (Presentation Server). At a minimum, this includes server and storage hardware, and a Windows Server license for each XenApp server. Furthermore, customers may need to buy a Terminal Services CAL for each user.

XenDesktop: Complex, Poorly Integrated, Built on a Platform That Has an Uncertain Future

Citrix XenDesktop software is complex, consisting of different disparate components bundled together. The underlying XenServer virtualization platform is also unproven in enterprise environments. Both Citrix and Microsoft have stated that Microsoft Hyper-V hypervisor will replace XenServer. Customers who deploy XenDesktop will use a virtualization platform that has an uncertain future. Several customers who have evaluated XenDesktop failed to deploy the complicated solution. Citrix's XenDesktop keynote demonstration at their user conference, Synergy, didn't even work.

VMware Virtual Desktop Infrastructure is Built on a Proven Platform and is Easy to Deploy
In contrast to Citrix XenDesktop, customers that deploy VMware Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) gain all the robustness and proven enterprise capabilities of the industry leading VMware Virtual Infrastructure (VI3) platform. VMware VDI is mature and much simpler to deploy than XenDesktop. XenDesktop deployments have up to eight different wizards, applications, and management consoles; VMware VDI uses two. Partners can have VMware VDI installed and working on their first customer visit, while XenDesktop can take days to get even a simple system deployed.

Bottom Line

We encourage VMware partners to clearly articulate how the virtualization platform is a strategic technology underlying virtual desktop deployments. Citrix's claims about product features, such as whether XenDesktop includes application streaming or virtualization capabilities, and claims of disk storage savings without noting significant restrictions, should not go unchallenged.

Read more
Best regards,
Jeff Jennings
Vice President, Desktop Products and Solutions

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I'm already sick of the spin/disinformation war going on between VMware and Citrix/Microsoft. It seems like every day I open up my feedreader only to see the marketing department of one or the other talking s**t about their competitor. While things like this happen all the time, the non-stop attacks this time around (almost daily!) are ridiculous.



Tsss.... Vmware... Looks like they're affraid. Very low action!


I work for Citrix and I'm not afraid to say that I have a healthy regard for many of VMWare's products and I also have a friend who is a VMWare employee who reciprocates these feeling about Citrix.

While we are in a competitive situation all this marketing bluster really annoys me, but at the end of the day our customers will make their own product choices based on hard and fast business and technical criteria.

All of the desktop brokering and application and OS virtualisation products I have played with have their merits and disadvantages and each will find its niche in an ever expanding market.

Fully agree with that... don't let wording take precedence over reality and fact...

XenDesktop demo at Application Delivery Confrence in Sydney yesterday was very very impressive. Shared disk provisioning was cool too worked very nicely. Streamed Apps, Streamed Desktops, Published Apps & Desktops, lots of nice flexible tools to build the solution you need. They the automated the building and deployment of all of it with that Workflow Studio. Very Impressive indeed.

Can someone tell me what products VMWare has that can do all this? 

If there is a marketing war, I think I know who's infront!!!

I think it's only VMWare who do this. Although I'm not a VMWare partner, I believe this is at least the second time they have sent out an email, the first being when Citrix bought XenSource. What is their problem? Why do they insist on unnecessarily bringing these things to everyone's attention? It's almost as though they are running scared, which I don't really believe they should be.

I too received this email in my inbox about 5 minutes after Citrix announced the release of XenDesktop.  Being a partner of both companies, we feel pressure from both sides to push one technology or another.  Being in this industry long enough to know better and to echo once again Shawn Bass's comments last week there is no one true solution for every client.  I have always and will always take the stance that I'm going to provide the "solution" that best fits my client and not what my vendor partners tell me to implement.

I too am tired of all the FUD floating in the air.  I'm a student of competitive strategy and as I stated yesterday in a blog post, somebody (Citrix, VMware, Microsoft, I don't really care) has to rethink their strategy and start innovating in new ways.  In new ways I mean "value innovation".  This is the prime example of "red oceans" vs. "blue oceans".  The only way to beat the competition is to stop TRYING to beat the competition.  Look for the blue water and get out of the red water.


This is at least the second email of this type that I've seen from
VMware, and I've got to say, does anybody over there proofread these
things before hitting the 'Send' button?  The writing is choppy and
conveys a tone of petulance...  I'm amazed that a V.P. appends his name
to these communications.

Rather than assemble other's opinions and claims, why doesn't VMWare form their own and test the competition for themselves.

Sorry I don't like to cross post, but this e-mail really pissed me off. I had to vent myself after reading this e-mail. Citrix is not perfect, but VMware is being childish in sending out e-mails like this. Different when it was blogged in the VMware Community blogs, but unacceptable when it is an official e-mail.

Whoops that's owned by MS. Perhaps you can were at Geek speak at Synergy and heard the assertion that RDP sucks. Callista was taken away from you my MS. So what are you going to do? SPICE is better than RDP, so you really suck at VDI VMWare. Also why would you think customers who wanted to wouldn't deploy Xendesktop on top of ESX if they wanted to. Nothing stopping them from doing that. I don't see ICA support forthcoming in your product. YAWN!
Hmmm....Qumarnet employee???
I'm sure I'll get blasted for this, but I kinda agree with the VMWare letter...Childish, yes....but I think they have a point.  I find the part about XenServer not being testing in the enterprise a very valid point.  What I also find interesting is the whole Hyper-V spin...doesn't that make the Xen acquision a $500 million mistake?

Does anyone else think this smells of the old childhood argument "My Dad can beat up your Dad!" ??  If we really want to find out, let's strap some gloves on the parents and throw them in a ring.  The better one will be the one left standing at the end when the bell rings!


Working at a partner for both Citrix, Microsoft, and VMware, we get these types of letters all the time from ALL the vendors.  The regional parter sales guys for all of these companies are notorious for this type of crap.  We read them, take them with a grain of salt, and make our own decisions based upon the merits of the product.  Get over yourselves.  This is life.  It's a competitive market and each vendor is perfectly entitled to poke a stick at the other vendors.  It shouldn't offend you. 

BTW.....VMware VDM2.1 was released yesterday.  Not a major release, but it did add some features that we have been begging for.  It's interesting that this news was never mentioned on this site.  What's up with that Brian?  Every time Citrix puts out a press release it's on here ASAP!  Microsoft also recently published some major news about thier VDI offering via the Kidaro acquisition.  Any mention on  Doesn't pass the smell test Brian.  You rant about being unbiased, but seriously, at least pretend better!  :-)
Yes, it's a competitive market, we all get that.  It's just the tactics that are being used that I think most people disagree on.  Why not talk about the merits of your offering, and show what it is capable of?  Why not put your product out there and let the consumer evaluate and decide which is best?  Sending out an email to all of your partners, talking down the competitor is just not a high class move.  People do a lot of things "all the time" in this world, but that doesn't necessarily make them the "right" or "proper" move to make.

Your just figuring that bias out? :>)

You don't think it is by chance that 'Citrix' is the only product named in the title of your browser is it?

I work for a Citrix/Vmware reseller and trust me I have seen both Citrix and VMware use exactly the same tactics. It's a very competitive market. This board is obviously Citrix biased otherwise there would be no such outcry. I am telling you Citrix is no  better than vmware and if you are affected or apalled by Vmware's letter to it partners it's because most of you on here are geeks, not sales/marketing. Otherwise you;d know it's all fair game.

The proof is in the pudding, my friend.  If you've gotten letters from Citrix that are in the same vein and tone as the ones from VMware, post 'em!  But I'd make sure that they're signed by a V.P.--not a regional SE in the field who's removed from headquarters and acting on his own accord. 


Here you can watch what Xen Guru Ian Pratt at Citrix Xenserver had to say about VMware's repeated FUD tactics.


We use products from both Citrix and VMWare and both Companies deliver great products. When VMWare makes remarks like: If you go for Citrix Desktop Server you'll need to buy licences for this and for that ... that might be true, but the product price for XEN systems in less than half the price of the VMWare VI3 Systems and how about if you want to use Application virtualization from VMWare... is that for free perhaps ? XEN Desktop might not be an option for everyone, but if you are already a XENAPP user it would probably make more sence for go for XEN Desktop than if you would start from scratch with VMWare.

Sure the XEN-Citrix product partnership is very young so it is quite normal that they aren't yet seamlesly integrated with each other. I'm shure that Thinstall and VI isn't that either. What I do know is that the Citrix Helpdesk is much better than the one at VMWare and that VMWare's Support contract rules are unflexible and not very client friendly. (One day overdue in paying your VMWare support contract and you can forget it: It's cancelled and can't be a new license is the answer you get.) Of course they've been used to be both market leader and the only one ON the market with this kind of products so they could do and ask whatever they wanted. Now when XEN/Citrix and other XEN based products are popping up (Virtual Iron, Oracle VM, SunVM,... ) and even MS Hyper-V, they must be serioulsy shitting in their pants to stoop that low.

I know XENServer is not as advanced yet or as compatible as VI3, but it's getting there and is certainly stable enough for Production environments. The market is big enough for both products to survive in. A little bit of competition is good for evolution.