Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Citrix Systems Inc. (NASDAQ:CTXS) today announced an expanded alliance to deliver a comprehensive set of virtualization solutions to address the desktop and server virtualization needs of customers. The two companies will work together to deliver and market joint virtualization solutions with Windows Server 2008 to help customers achieve a flexible and dynamic client computing infrastructure.
For more than 18 years, Microsoft and Citrix have offered customers solutions to deliver Windows-based applications using Citrix Presentation Server(TM) running on Terminal Services. Now the companies plan to co-market new client computing offerings with the next generation of Citrix Presentation Server and the Citrix XenDesktop(TM) products, both based on Windows Server 2008 and Windows Optimized Desktop solutions, and managed by Microsoft System Center. With these solutions, customers can build an array of flexible, low-cost and manageable client computing options for different types of enterprise users.
Citrix Presentation Server along with Windows Server 2008 enables customers to deliver remote Windows-based applications at a low cost and with high performance for users. The next generation of Citrix Presentation Server will support and extend Windows Server 2008 and will help enable customers to use Windows Server 2008 for the remote Windows application execution workload.
Citrix XenDesktop is a complete desktop virtualization system and, when combined with Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista Enterprise Centralized Desktop and System Center, will help enable customers to deliver Windows-based desktops to virtually all task-based and knowledge-based workers at a low cost, and with high performance and enhanced security features. Citrix XenDesktop, planned for release in second quarter 2008, will support and extend Windows Server 2008 shortly after the availability of Hyper-V, a hypervisor-based virtualization feature available as part of Windows Server 2008. The two companies will work together to co-market both of those solutions -- Citrix Presentation Server and Citrix XenDesktop along with Windows Server 2008 and System Center -- to help customers meet the full spectrum of their Windows client computing needs. This expanded alliance also marks an initial step toward a longer-term plan to collaborate on future desktop virtualization solutions.
"Citrix's end-to-end virtualization strategy includes a strong shared alliance with Microsoft and a commitment to continued innovation on the Windows platform," said Mark Templeton, chief executive officer of Citrix Systems. "By leveraging our strength in desktop virtualization in support of the Windows Server 2008 platform and System Center, our development efforts enable businesses to deliver the right desktop experience to the right user at the right time for the increasingly diverse set of user needs. Customers should find that our virtualization products together provide one of the best ways to virtualize Windows apps, desktops and servers."
Microsoft and Citrix also have extended their alliance for server virtualization to enable IT departments to run heterogeneous hypervisor software. Citrix is developing a capability to enable the portability of virtual machines between the Xen hypervisor in Citrix XenServer(TM) and Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V. This capability will offer the companies' joint customers a unified portfolio of virtual infrastructures that utilizes both Hyper-V and the Xen hypervisor under a common System Center management platform. This capability is scheduled to be available for beta evaluation in the second quarter of 2008.
Microsoft and Citrix will offer server virtualization solutions with the combination of Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V, System Center family of products and Citrix XenServer. Citrix will extend support for Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V and Microsoft System Center in all its virtualization products: XenDesktop, Presentation Server and XenServer. As part of this collaboration, a future version of System Center Virtual Machine Manager will support managing Citrix XenServer, and Citrix plans to integrate Hyper-V with Citrix XenServer. This collaboration will enable customers to easily deploy and manage heterogeneous virtualization environments built on both Citrix XenServer and Hyper-V.
"For nearly two decades, Microsoft and Citrix have delivered significant value to customers, and we're excited to expand our work around desktop and server virtualization technologies," said Bob Muglia, senior vice president of the Server and Tools Business at Microsoft. "Virtualization enables our customers to deliver the right computing resources to their employees virtually anytime, anywhere, regardless of the situation, and helps create IT systems that are more efficient, more flexible and more cost-effective. Microsoft and Citrix are working together on product integration so that customers have access to comprehensive and flexible virtualization solutions, all controlled by an integrated management platform."
Today's announcement is another milestone in the alliance between Citrix and Microsoft. Also recently, the two companies have collaborated on solutions designed to simplify branch office computing using Citrix WANScaler(TM) running on the Windows Server 2003 and Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration Server platforms. In the area of virtualization software, the companies agreed in September 2007 to standardize the companies' desktop and application virtualization solutions on the Microsoft Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) format as a common runtime environment. And in July 2006, before Citrix's acquisition of XenSource, Microsoft and XenSource announced plans to provide interoperability between Xen-enabled Linux and Hyper-V in Windows Server 2008.
Citrix Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CTXS) is the global leader and the most trusted name in application delivery infrastructure. More than 200,000 organizations worldwide rely on Citrix to deliver any application to users anywhere with the best performance, highest security and lowest cost. Citrix customers include 100% of the Fortune 100 companies and 99% of the Fortune Global 500, as well as hundreds of thousands of small businesses and prosumers. Citrix has approximately 6,200 channel and alliance partners in more than 100 countries. Annual revenue in 2006 was $1.1 billion.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.