While it’s not entirely clear which parts of this partnership are truly new, Microsoft and Citrix are linking up on the future of virtual desktops. And not for the first time.
“As organizations everywhere adapt to new ways of work, they will need to reimagine how and where work gets done,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a prepared statement. “Together with Citrix, we will apply the power of Azure to this challenge, helping our customers seamlessly and securely connect their employees to their applications, so they can be more agile and productive wherever they are.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic has forced businesses around the world to change the way that employees work, while still meeting the speed and security requirements that today’s uncertain business environment demands,” Citrix president and CEO David Henshall added. “Together, Citrix and Microsoft can deliver a powerful digital workspace in a trusted and secure public cloud where employees can access everything they need to engage and be productive whether they are at home, in the office, or on the road.”
As for the specifics, this multi-year agreement builds upon and expands one of the industry’s longest strategic partnerships, as Microsoft so accurately puts it, with Microsoft selecting Citrix Workspace as a preferred digital workspace solution and Citrix selecting Microsoft Azure as a preferred cloud platform. And Citrix says it will move existing on-premises Citrix customers to Microsoft Azure.
As for what’s new, the firms also say that they are developing “a connected roadmap to simplify and accelerate the transition of application workloads to Azure and enhance the performance of Windows Virtual Desktops. Together, Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops, Citrix Managed Desktops[,] and Windows Virtual Desktops will provide a complete and seamless way for customers to run all their application workloads on Azure and access Windows-based applications across devices or platforms.” And Citrix is also investing in building a Microsoft-centric Citrix Workspace that will “optimize performance, functionality, and micro-apps for Windows Virtual Desktop and Microsoft 365, including Microsoft Teams.”
Put another way, Microsoft and Citrix will both also continue to develop their own unique remote desktop solutions that solve the same problems and will compete for the same customers. Microsoft, seriously. Acquire Citrix already.