Microsoft and Citrix Systems announce a broad-based partnership designed to promote the two companies' end-to-end solutions for virtualization, such as applying Citrix XenDesktop's HDX technology to the Microsoft RemoteFX platform. Microsoft and Citrix also announce a promotion that aggressively targets virtualization rival VMware's customer base. On its own, Microsoft has been updating its virtualization options for businesses.
Microsoft has announced a partnership with Citrix Systems aimed at promoting
the two companies' end-to-end virtualization packages for businesses. One
particularly aggressive facet of the new alliance has Microsoft and Citrix
offering VMware View customers the ability to trade in 500 licenses at no
additional cost, reflecting the increased competitiveness in the virtualization
industry as a whole.
As part of the March 18 announcement, Microsoft instituted a number of
changes to its virtualization policy, including making virtual desktop access
rights a Windows Client Software Assurance benefit; starting July 1, those
Software Assurance clients will not need to buy a separate license in order to
access Windows in a virtual environment.
Also on July 1, Windows Client Software Assurance and Virtual Desktop Access
license customers will be able to access virtualized Windows and Office
applications through non-corporate network devices, such as home PCs. Windows
XP Mode will no longer require hardware virtualization technology, and under the
agreement with Citrix, assets such as Citrix XenDesktop's HDX technology can be
applied to the capabilities of the Microsoft RemoteFX platform.
"What we're bringing to the market together is this end-to-end
experience with a simple and consistent interface for the end user," Brad
Anderson, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Management and Services
Division, told eWEEK in a March 17 interview. "It's comprehensive, and it
leverages what customers already have. If you take a look at the assets that
our companies already have in virtualization, it's the most comprehensive group
of assets on the market."
Microsoft and Citrix are also attempting to fire a broadside into VMware
with the "Rescue for VMware VDI" promotion, which allows VMware View
customers to trade in up to 500 licenses at no additional cost. Another
promotion offers new Microsoft-Citrix virtualization customers about 50 percent
off the estimated retail price for virtual desktop infrastructure.
But in conversations with the media, Microsoft seemed primarily interested
in emphasizing the announcement as a value proposition.
"Two infrastructures are more expensive than one infrastructure," Anderson
said. "When customers see the chance to consolidate multiple infrastructures
into one, it's a chance to manage virtual and hardware desktop so it's truly
one infrastructure. It enables administrators to do everything through system
center. And reducing infrastructure reduces cost."
partnership announcement follows another Microsoft virtualization
On Feb. 22, the company released two business-focused
virtualization applications, App-V 4.6 and MED-V
1.0 SP1 Release Candidate, designed to better integrate proprietary
applications into businesses' evolving IT infrastructure. App-V 4.6 extends
64-bit support for Microsoft's application virtualization product to streaming
applications, while MED-V 1.0 SP1 RC allows
applications that require Internet Explorer 6 or that otherwise can't be
supported on Windows 7 to run in a managed virtual desktop environment.