Updated: Citrix and Microsoft Renew their Licensing Deal

Note: I spoke with Citrix senior vice president of global Microsoft relations Nabeel Youakim and senior vice president of corporate development Dave Jones the day this deal was announced. I've added additional information to the end of this article based on that conversation.

Note: I spoke with Citrix senior vice president of global Microsoft relations Nabeel Youakim and senior vice president of corporate development Dave Jones the day this deal was announced. I've added additional information to the end of this article based on that conversation.

Citrix and Microsoft announced today that they're renewing their cross-licensing agreement for another five years.

The press release was light on details, although it appears that this is nothing more than an extension of their current agreement. The current agreement, previously renewed every three years, is what allowed Microsoft to get the core Terminal Server code from Citrix and Citrix to get the Windows source code from Microsoft.

The press release mentioned the word "Longhorn" five times, although it didn't say what Citrix was going to be doing with Longhorn or in the Longhorn timeframe.

Most likely, the main point of this press release is for Citrix to convince people it's okay to buy MetaFrame and that MetaFrame will still have value in the Longhorn timeframe.

Mark Templeton's quote was filled with the requisite terms ("exciting," "integration," "help us deliver solutions," "help us better serve our customers, "great value to customers," and "agreement is a driver of innovation.").

Microsoft's response from Bob Muglia (SVP for Windows Servers) was equally as insightful. "We are excited to expand our business relationship with Citrix Systems in order to better serve our customers. This collaboration will result in an improved and more extensible Windows Server platform for ISVs that broadens the solutions for Windows server and ensures that Windows 'Longhorn' Server will be the best platform for access solutions available in the market. Furthermore, this technology and patent licensing agreement provides an important context for our collaboration with Citrix."

It's like buzzword bingo.

Don't get me wrong, I think this deal is good for Citrix because it means that they won't have to renegotiate with Microsoft again until 2009. It's just that I don't think there's anything groundbreaking in this specific announcement, and I don't really see it changing anyone's view of either company.

Additional Information

  • This deal is more expansive and increase the collaboration between the two companies. Citrix employees will now work on the Microsoft campus to help shape the future of the Terminal Services platform.
  • There is patent language in the agreement that will allow both companies to operate without getting sued. While this won't mean that the two companies will exchange trade secrets, it will allow them to "borrow" ideas and concepts from each other in this area.
  • For the first time (that I'm aware of), Citrix officially went on record saying that they are "not doing a Linux version of MetaFrame. We are very clear." This was according to Dave Jones, who previously only said that they will do what customers demand.
  • Citrix will start to work with groups in Microsoft other than just the Terminal Services group. We began to see this last October at iForum when with the Office group. Citrix wouldn't list specific groups moving forward, but we can bet they'll be closely watching / working with Microsoft's Network Access Protection (like Citrix's SmartAccess) and Anywhere Access Gateway (like Citrix's Web Interface and MSAM) groups.

The Bottom Line

So what does this deal really mean for the two companies? Here's my one-line summary for each.

For Citrix, it means that they can witness the development process of Terminal Services for Avalon & Longhorn, so they can build a version of MetaFrame that adds value here regardless of whether any Bear Paw features are included or not.

For Microsoft, it means they can "borrow" cool server-based computing ideas from Citrix to build into Longhorn, and it means that Citrix will heavily push Microsoft Terminal Services over the next five years which could be worth $2B in incremental revenue to them.

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Please correct if I'm wrong on this, but in the past agreements I didn't think Citrix had access to actual source code of the OS (Win2k, Win2k3). This agreement now gives them source code. I think the key word in the press release is 'Formalizes'.

Jeff
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Actually they did have the source code previously. That's how they wrote MultiWin in the first place.
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that doesn't mean they had access to the source code of Win2k or Win2k3. Or at least it may not have been official. I still find the wording interesting for the statement on source code. Although, this may be a slightly different agreement based on the anti-trust suit settlement.

but like I said, I may completely off base.

Jeff
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Oh, I see what you're saying, I didn't catch that. I had a phone call with them this afternoon and found out some interesting things.

Actually, I'll just update the article body itself instead of posting here..

Brian
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Hi Brian,

Did you already update this article? I am always interested in your opinion and I am interested in what Citrix had to say.

Thx Peter
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Actually Cirtix has had access to large portions of the Windows 2000 Source Code for quite some time. They were one of the first companies to get access under the DOJ setlement(I think that was the case) that said that MS had to open their code to partners (with massive NDA required). I remember when I was down there for a TTT in 2002 we got into an argument on the printer creation process that was answered by one of the test engineers. The gist of it was that Citrix was confused as to why autocreated printers could be orphaned in FR2 with a quick logon/logoff and they were wading through the source code to try to find a workaround.
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That makes sense with the wording used of 'formalizes' the source code agreement. That goes iwth my theory that they may have had unofficiall access to source code before the DOJ but it was probably at MS's sufferance (you be a good boy and we'll let you see some code ;) ). it sounds like it's all part of one agreement instead of two (or more) seperate agreements that were in place before.

Jeff
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FYI- Citrix has had access to MS source code since OS/2, the significance is not that this is new, rather that the relationship is re-affirmed and that Citrix continues to enjoy access that very few ISV's have within Microsoft. BTW- Citrix has had people working at Redmond for a long time as well....
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While my organisation is a heavy user of MetaFrame on Win2k platforms, I'm a neophyte about Citrix besides that. However, I'm sorry to hear that Citrix won't be putting out a version of MetaFrame for Linux. Given the effort we had to go through to get MetaFrame working properly under Windows (something that I believe should have worked properly "out of the box") I think it's a shame. It's quite possible our project would have been a lot less painful if the OS we had used was a stable version of Linux. Still, I guess this gives the Open Source community (or a smart start-up) an opportunity to fill that market niche.

Just a thought...

Leitchy
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So to understand the comment, in some way, metaframe on an open source OS would make the installation and configuration easier? Exactly how would that happen? What applications would you push out over Metaframe for Linux? I'm sorry but I truly doubt that a metaframe for linux would have made your job any easier in installation and configuration of the product.

Jeff
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Absolutely correct - even with YAST, it wouldn't have made anything much easier (unless the original poster's a Linux person and has very little Windows experience). However, Citrix should strongly consider making the bundled applications (Secure Gateway/SAM/Web Interface) runnable on LAMP (Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP) etc - consumers have already paid the licensing, the secure access portal technology shouldn't also require IIS (Infinitely Insecure Swisscheese). Plus, it would expand their revenue base to a whole other market segment.
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Now those comments I can agree with
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Perhaps you should look at this: http:
Your availability of applications is still going to be your biggest issue (at least if you're currently supporting Windows apps).

Shawn
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ORIGINAL: sbass

Perhaps you should look at this: http://ltsp.sourceforge.net/



Also check NoMachine: www.nomachine.com

You can easily test NoMachine using a recent Knoppix live-cd.

regards,

Berdt
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DOES ANYONE KNOW THE ACCESS CODE TO MADDEN 2004 FOR A PC GAME  I NEED IT BADLY CAN SOMEONE PLEASE TELL ME THE ACCES CODE I WOULD BE SO HAPPY
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Did you ever get this...I am looking for the same thing for my son.
ORIGINAL: Guest

DOES ANYONE KNOW THE ACCESS CODE TO MADDEN 2004 FOR A PC GAME  I NEED IT BADLY CAN SOMEONE PLEASE TELL ME THE ACCES CODE I WOULD BE SO HAPPY

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