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Microsoft bins Azure RemoteApp, says go with Citrix instead

Small problem: Citrix's software isn't built yet and RemoteApp closes on August 31st, 2017

Citrix has had a big win in the cloud: Microsoft has decided to discontinue its own application publishing service in favour of a forthcoming Citrix product called “XenApp express.”

Microsoft's app publishing product is called Azure RemoteApp and is essentially a cloudified version of its RemoteApp code that exposes Windows apps so they can be consumed through remote desktop Services. Apps running in this mode look like they're running locally, but aren't!

Redmond says customers still want this stuff running in Azure but that it's come to an un-explained decision that getting Citrix to do the job is “The best way for us to deliver this”.

Citrix's product, Microsoft says, has all the security and other qualities anyone could ever want when delivering remoted apps.

We have to take Microsoft's word for this because XenApp express is currently on the drawing board. Citrix promises a beta in Q4 2016 and general availability in “early 2017”. It's also promising that the new service will allow apps to be published to any device, desktop or mobile.

The move is not entirely unexpected as the two companies announced closer ties in May, when both signed a mutual cloudification-and-mobilisation pact and Citrix picked Azure as its cloud-of-choice. Throw in the fact that Citrix's new CEO Kirill Tatarinov is a former Microserf and there's clearly some love in the room.

Tatarinov's trying to show Azure RemoteApp users plenty of affection, promising that XenApp express will “shares the workflows and experience you love about Microsoft Azure RemoteApp.”

Love? Clearly there was not enough love for Microsoft to keep the service alive, clearly.

The next question therefore becomes whether there's enough love to stop Azure RemoteApp users talking to VMware about its Horizon Air service, which is already in existence and running in in actual clouds rather than the subject of forward-looking blog posts.

In The Register's experience, marketing departments are never – ahem - classier than when users are being forced to make a decision. Grab some popcorn and see what happens as the wooing of Azure RemoteApp users begins! ®

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