You think $500m for XenSource is a lot? That's Microsoft's rough spend on desktop virt recently too.

There are a lot of people out there who think Citrix was a fool to spend $500m on XenSource. A few people think it was brilliant though.

There are a lot of people out there who think Citrix was a fool to spend $500m on XenSource. A few people think it was brilliant though. (Doug Brown had a good piece on the brilliance although I can't find it now.) I agree with Doug. Citrix paid $500m for a seat at the virtualization table, and they're definitely getting their money's worth. (Especially if you consider that the $500m was a cash and stock deal, and the rumor is that the cast portion was only around $120m.)

Of course there have been other major acquisitions in our industry. I've been thinking a lot recently about some of the products Microsoft bought over the last few years. In the desktop virtualization space alone, Microsoft bought: user "AppDetective" posted a comment an RDP 7 article few days ago where he cited the "fact" that Microsoft paid $240m for Softricity, $125m for Calista, and $110 for Kidaro. If his numbers are true, that would put the total of those three companies in the $500m range too.

The problem of course we have no idea how much Microsoft really spent. I asked the community via twitter yesterday, and I got back very conflicting answers from people who "knew for sure." Some say Calista was only $28m. Others say Softricity was $400m. So really who knows?

My point is that given that we don't know what Microsoft paid for these companies, but that the Citrix / XenSource deal was cash and stock, there's a pretty good chance that Citrix and Microsoft spent somewhere in the same range for their virtualization acquisitions. (Citrix to become more broad, and Microsoft to become more focused.)

So in the context of Citrix "wasting" $500m for XenSource, look at what they got out of it for their $500m, and then look at what Microsoft "got" for about the same money for Softricity/Calista/Kidaro.

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IMO Microsoft's primary reason for purchasing Kidaro and Softricity was not (directly) related to virtualization. I believe the primary motivation was to address Vista compatibility issues. In that context, virtualization was a means, not an end.

I do agree that Citrix got s seat at the virtualization table by buying XenSource. Whether their relative position at that table was worth $500M is another question. Another interesting question is how much Oracle paid for Virtual Iron.



Also consider that Hyper-V uses, essentially, the XenServer architecture and add to your calculation whatever costs MS paid to develop, and get assistance, with the development of Hyper-V. It may put them well over the 500M mark.

Frankly I belive the Citrix aquisition of XEN was not only a good idea-I think it gave Citrix a new lease on life. Try to Imagine Citrix in today's ecosystem without their multi-pronged virtualization solutions! The Citrix of old in today's market would be a dinosaur, I have the utmost respect for the way the team at Citrix has aquired XEN in included it in thier corporate DNA so quickly.

That is rare in this world where M&A is about balance sheets, this aquisition was about a transformation of an innovative business into the nextinnovative era. Gotta give them credit for that!!


App-V doesnt solve OS comptability never has. Its an applicaiton isolation solution.

Kidaro at the time was going head to head with VMWare ACE and vThere. MS already owned an engine (VPC), but they lacked distributed management features that stopped it being used on mass in the enterprise.


Sure, but virtualization is a bigger scope today than just a a year two ago. To take this space forward a vendor needs to be able to virtualize the hardware, to some degree the OS, applications and presentation. Each piece is important, if you are missing it than the stack doesn't stack up!!


My comments were only in response to Dan in regard to a few years ago. Couldnt agree more on the whole stack needing to be addressed.

Im very interested to see how citrix do the client hypervisor in the licencing regard.... it kicks butt when combined with Provisioning Server due to the hardware abstraction. But if you buy Provisioning Server licences now... will the client hypervisor be only available to xendesktop customers? Any ideas Brian?



Here is a quote from the first paragraph of the Microsoft MED-V home page:

MED-V 1.0 helps enterprises upgrade to the latest version of Windows even when some applications are not yet compatible.

In other words, regardless of its original purpose and capabilities, Microsoft is promoting MED-V (Kidaro) as a means to achieve backward compatibility for Windows.

I do agree App-V is about application compatibility issues rather than OS compatibility issues, but it still isn't in the same bracket as Xen.



Hi Dan,

I was only responding to how you talked about intent at purchase time.

Back at acquistion time Kidaro didnt support vista...

this support was added a good while later.

And now many years after aquistion is being pushed as a primary business case.

Is anyone else using Med V1 or is everyone waiting for V2?




One key difference between M$ and CTXS is the monetization strategy - arguably all the three companies acquired by M$ have (will) become a part of Software Assurance (SA) and M$ gets a return on investment within a year.  CTXS on the other hand has this huge Albatross around its neck as it clearly sees no direct way to monetize Xen but has to monetize it around drag-through management and support products. Net Net In relative terms - M$ got a lot more Bang per buck than CTXS did.


@Steve, I hear Virtual Iron was in the 15M-30M range. Since they were loosing money but doing ok in the last year, it was a cheap pick up from Oracle as a mgmt tool nothing more and since then they fired most of the team. Also worth noting from my sources that VMWARE paid 40M for ThinInstall, so that kind of tells you it was a cheap disruptive pick up as opposed to anything mega from a technology point of view.

@rahvintzu, I've used Kidaro, Med V 1 and 2. For the use case MS is touting, I see no TCO. It's cheaper for me to Terminal Server stuff over to avoid all the headache of patching two distributed client OSs. If Citrix did published apps on XD then no reason at all to use it, I know others offer this as well, but no ICA which is king. This is just the maddness that the idot woman in charge of MDOP conjured up. If Win 7 sucks, very little reason to move, if it doesn't then this MED V thing is just stupid. The real value of Kidaro was what now Moka5 is doing and more, idiot woman at MS can only see the monopoly view of selling another Windows OS and killed innovation, and wasted $110M of share holder value.

@Chetan. I understand your point, but I don't think they had a choice. If Citrix didn't have a virtualization story, then they would be like Quest, following and kissing the ass of hypervisor vendors. In fact Citrix has Xen in the Amazon Cloud and that to me tells me that it's a more open approach that can be adopted by Cloud providers which is the future more easily than closed systems like Hyper-V and ESX.. The Money part as you point out will come indirectly through other stuff they do (who knows what yet), but I think this critical piece will enable them. I acutally think the VPX virtual appliance is the first great example of how they can disrupte markets with their own virtualization technology. On the Desktop side of the world it is clear that hyper-V will win, and I think Citrix will just have to add value on top. Additionally Citrix has done things like Ardence, Reflectent Edgesight and they are now part of the product at a certain license level, so I would think of Xen as special :-) I also wouldn't tout any 1 year ROI from MS. Kidaro is a joke that is over a year old, and nobody paid for SA for Kidaro trust me. I hate SA, and wish I could buy what I need at the same price point. I paid for MDOP sadly and use none of it, since all the products are not enterprise class, innovate slowly etc, but for some reason they just giving me doscounts on it, and we just get it!!!!! The only product in SA that is worth my time is Softgrid, but even there to make it replace my systems management tools I have to buy Systems Center which is $$$$$$$$$ so the value of MDOP is very low indeed. Monopoly thinking, that doesn't give a damn about the enterprise use case.



XenClient business model is the same as XenServer, the product is free  - you pay for enterprise management capabilities.