Microsoft Shuttering Azure RemoteApp, Turns to Citrix

The companies partner to deliver the XenApp Express application virtualization service, eventually replacing Microsoft's Azure RemoteApp.

Microsoft cloud

Azure RemoteApp, Microsoft's cloud-based remote application delivery service, is shutting down in 2017. Taking its place is a new collaboration between Microsoft and virtual desktop specialist Citrix called XenApp Express.

The product, currently under development, "combines the simplicity of application remoting and the scalability of Azure with the security, management, and performance benefits of XenApp, to deliver Windows applications to any employee on any device," wrote Microsoft's Remote Desktop group in an Aug. 12 blog post. "We will have much more to share on this offering through the coming months."

Thusly, the company plans to shut down Azure RemoteApp in just over a year, on Aug. 31, 2017. Microsoft will stop taking orders for the service on Oct. 1.

In a separate blog post, Bill Burley, vice president and general manager of Citrix Workspace Services, said customers can consider the new XenApp Express as "Azure RemoteApp v2.0," combining the enterprise capabilities of the Citrix XenApp application virtualization platform with Azure RemoteApp's ease of use.

XenApp Express will offer stronger security, enhanced monitoring capabilities and simplified app provisioning, continued Burley. Aiming to help current RemoteApp customers make a smooth transition to the new offering, the companies are working on a migration service.

"We are working very closely with Microsoft to ensure that you do not experience any disruption during this transition, and we're streamlining our work with Microsoft, unifying our efforts on this project with our work on XenDesktop for Windows 10 on Azure," wrote Citrix CEO Kirill Tatarinov in a letter to RemoteApp users. "Our combined efforts create a winning scenario for you, our customers, who will see more streamlined app and desktop delivery with enhanced security and performance from Microsoft Azure, a leading public cloud."

The news comes weeks after Citrix sold its GoTo online collaboration unit to LogMeIn for $1.8 billion.

The GoTo portfolio includes several well-known products like GoToMyPC, GoToMeeting, GoToAssist, OpenVoice and Grasshopper. The products will be combined with LogMeIn's namesake offering and other services that enable users to remotely access business systems. Citrix had already been working on spinning off GoTo.

"From Citrix's perspective, this transaction will allow us to further enhance our strategic focus, operational efficiency and accelerate execution of our strategy to provide the world's best integrated technology services for secure delivery of apps and data," said Tatarinov in a July 26 announcement.

Earlier this year, in yet another move intended to help streamline operations at Citrix, the Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based company announced it was selling its cloud management products, specifically CloudPlatform and CloudPortal Business Manager, to Accelerite for an undisclosed amount. The products are based on the open-source CloudStack technology that Citrix inherited when it snapped up in 2011.

"Accelerite has been successful in acquiring numerous product lines from other large companies, such as HP, Intel and Openwave, to grow cloud computing and virtualization software products," noted Steve Wilson, vice president and general manager of converged infrastructure at Citrix in a Jan. 11 blog post. "Citrix will work closely with Accelerite to build on CloudPlatform integrations with XenServer, NetScaler and Citrix Workspace Cloud."

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez

Pedro Hernandez is a contributor to eWEEK and the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals. Previously, he served as a managing editor for the network of...