Meet the new Citrix, same as the old Citrix – but hybrid
First public word on 'new' direction reveals focus on core technologies and 'a ton of hiring' to modernize them a bit
Citrix has broken its silence on future plans with a presentation by vice president for product management Calvin Hsu to its user group. He revealed the business unit of the Cloud Software Group plans to spend 2023 modernizing its core applications for hybrid clouds and hybrid work, licenses that span multiple environments, and "a ton of hiring" to make that happen.
Hsu opened by comparing Citrix's recent round of redundancies to a Formula One car's pit stop – having put on fresh tyres and topped up its tank, the machine is ready to accelerate.
Citrix wants to accelerate through the field of rivals offering digital workspaces in hybrid cloud environments. Hsu said hybrid cloud and hybrid work are both here to stay, so Citrix thinks it has an opportunity to innovate for both environments.
Some of the innovation is mostly done. Hsu revisited Citrix's history of adapting its on-prem Studio Console management tool for the web and cloud – acknowledging that the result was underwhelming – then developing a Web Studio product that customers appreciated. But delivering Web Studio meant work on Studio Console slowed, disappointing customers.
Web Studio will be adapted for on-prem use, merging with the best bits of Studio Console.
The result will be a hybrid Studio with one UI to manage multiple on-prem or cloud environments.
Hsu also admitted that Citrix had slowed development of its StoreFront enterprise app store, but will pick up the pace and again bring features from the cloudy version of the tool to the on-premises cut.
Again, Citrix's plan is to make the on-prem and cloud experiences identical, and provide access to resources across hybrid environments.
Licensing and logos
Sources have told The Register that Citrix has started telling customers that perpetual licenses are not in its plans, and that attempts to secure extended support for such licenses have been rebuffed.
Citrix has not responded to our requests for comment on that issue. However, Hsu did touch on licensing by saying that customers have asked for universal licensing of Citrix's wares across all environments and the business unit is working on it.
"Our strategy around that will be out there very shortly," he said.
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Another imminent feature is "app personalization" – adding clients' own logos to Citrix Workspaces.
Citrix already offered such customization, Hsu said, but only for colossal customers.
The rest of you will soon get the ability to add custom logos. Hsu admitted the change "is a little bit overdue" and he's right: users of VMware Horizon, Google Workspaces, and Office 365 have been able to apply their own logos for ages.
Hsu also mentioned an API strategy aimed at improving infrastructure automation, and work on the HDX RealTime Media Engine that allows video calls in virtual desktops to improve quality and bring feature parity across macOS, Linux, and Windows.
The presentation did not, however, mention new products or innovations that would change or enhance Citrix's product portfolio, or drive growth other than by improving products for the hybrid age.
Citrix has over the years acquired complementary products and found new niches for its core application publishing and desktop virtualization businesses without ever enjoying sustained success. The biz was restructured in 2017, then re-restructured last year with its odd couple merger with Tibco and subsequent decomposition into a constellation of business units focussed on niche products, under the umbrella brand "Cloud Software Group".
The Register has requested a briefing on the Group's strategy, but was told it was not possible at the time of asking. ®