In the biggest "wow" announcement from Citrix Synergy 2011 San Francisco, Citrix publicly demoed the delivery a remote Mac OS X desktop to any client device running the Citrix Receiver (which is available for Windows, Mac, iOS, Blackberry, Android, WebOS, etc..)
Connecting to a remote Mac OS X desktop has been available for a long time via products like LogMeIn, GoToMyPC, VNC, etc. And Aqua Connect has a product that extends the Mac OS X desktop to client devices running via Microsoft RDP (which Aqua Connect licensed from Microsoft).
So while this *concept* is nothing new, what's new today is that this connection was done via Citrix's HDX protocol, which is very advanced and allows for high performance multimedia and a great user experience. In his on-stage demo, Citrix's Gus Pinto showed off Angry Birds and the latest Pirates of the Caribbean demo, and as you'd expect from an HDX connection, the experience was great.
Citrix didn't share to many details except to confirm that the remote system was running on Apple-branded hardware. They wouldn't clarify whether that instance of the OS was physical or virtual, but we've previously read that VMware vSphere 5 is rumored to support Mac OS X as a platform for guest VMs, so it's plausible that we'll see some sort of "Mac VDI" offering at some point.
Here's a snippet of the keynote which featured the Mac HDX demo:
I don't think this will lead to massive migrations to Macs in the enterprise, but it will be nice for Mac users to have options to move their primary desktops to the datacenter just like Windows users have. And something like HDX Connect for Mac would sure be nice for remote access!
What does this mean for Aqua Connect? I guess they'll continue to focus on the "value" play?
Interesting and unexpected... stay tuned!