Citrix’s Flagship Product Now Known as XenApp

XenIf you haven’t heard of Citrix, well… look them up. Last week, I hit their web site to download a new client, and… WTH?!?! Where’d the stuff go! I was shocked to find that they renamed Presentation Manager (formerly known as Metaframe XP, formerly known as “Citrix,” formerly known as “that thing you run on Windows NT to make it like pcANYWHERE for multiple users) to “XenApp.”

Interesting.

Just last October, Citrix acquired XenSource. You’ve heard of Xen by now, right? The hottest thing to hit Linux virtualization since… well, whenever. Red Hat and Novell are using it in their enterprise products to provide virtualization for Linux. It’s a strong contender on the server, etc., etc. Anyway, Citrix has decided to make the XenSource product a big thing. They now have XenServer product (think “VMware ESX”) and XenDesktop (think “you each get your own Windows desktop, but it lives in the datacenter”).

So… why rename their main product, which lets you stream Windows applications to end users, independent of platform, without having to install them locally, to XenApp? Uhm. I really don’t know. But I do know that, to many (techie Linux) people, Xen is synonymous with “virtualization,” and a “good thing.” I think Citrix is trying to leverage some of that goodwill, but also going the opposite direction: “If you liked Xen, you’ll love XenApp,” and at the same time “You’ve known this product (Citrix/Metaframe/Presentation Manager) for years! Now we’ve just changed its name. And oh look at these other products which are just like it (only different) and have the same name. You’ll like them too.”

It shall be interesting, watching where this goes.

Who do you think will be the big daddy of virtualization five years from now? VMWare? Citrix? Microsoft? Parallels? Sun? SWSoft? Someone else?

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