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Are there still competitors for Citrix XenApp?

(and is that the reason Citrix is promoting XenDesktop that much)?

However Citrix extended his product line with many new products (also in different areas/market) many people (both IT as end-user) connect Citrix to the Server Based Computing market with the product that nowadays is called XenApp. However when you attended any of the Citrix events lately just a small portion of the sessions and information is about XenApp (while there are still made enhancements in the product). Many attendees were asking if Citrix is forgetting XenApp (still their flagship in the product line) too much, by focusing on the other products definitely in marketing and maybe in development.


I was also suspicious that Citrix forget XenApp too much, but the release of XenApp 6.5 showed that Citrix is still developing. I expect that the XenDesktop and XenApp will integrate in one product in the future and in other words Citrix still has their attention on the XenApp product.

However they don't mention XenApp to much in their marketing materials and their conferences, which can give the feeling Citrix is forgetting XenApp. After some thoughts it's logical that Citrix does not pay much attention to XenApp especially in marketing related content.

SBC competitors and Marketing

First take a look at the current market of Server Based Computing. Citrix was and is still a pioneer in this market space. Many companies/customers do not know any other products available, while there were several alternatives available. I already wrote an article series about those products and gave presentations about it on BriForum together with Claudio Rodriguez. What happened with these products used in the article/presentations?


The company still exists but the real ETS product is not available anymore. They still offer some specific RDS product, but not a SBC product.


The last update is from February 2011, so that's not real old. But you don't hear much the product and they are also focusing on their VDI product. Claudio discusses them in his latest SBC Round-Up presentation on BriForum US 2011.

2X Application Server

2X was and is still a stranger is this market, because they are focusing on the SMB market mainly. Their 2X Application Server is regularly updated and now also includes a VDI component (in one product, which I really like as a side note). Were 2X had lots of a marketing campaigns a lot previously; they don't show up that much anymore.

Ericom PowerTerm WebConnect

Together with 2X one of those companies that advertised a lot to bring their product into attention. The product still exists, but just as before Ericom also has other products. They developed several new product like Blaze (RDP Compression and Accelartion) and HTML5 RDP Client. During the release of these new product they marketed this just like they did PowerTerm WebConnect before, however not much marketing anymore on PowerTerm WebConnect.

Jetro Cockpit

It looks Jetro is not working actively on the Cockpit product anymore, however it is still offered on their website. The requirements however are mentioning Windows 2003 or Windows 2000 server, where especially the Windows 2000 is really getting old.

Genuine Thinworx

Thinworx is one of the most unknown SBC suppliers in this market. They update their product very frequently according the website. They never really did much on marketing and this still applies.

Quest vWorkspace

During the article and presentations this is was Provision Networks VAS. In that time the company is acquired by Quest and that helped a lot for their acquaintance and visibility. This product is the closest to Citrix according features and performance. However vWorkspace is also focusing on VDI more and more (actually one of the first real VDI products), so in their commercial activities VDI is het main purpose of the message.

Windows Remote Desktop Services

Actually Microsoft has done lots of improvements and enhancement on the RDS component of Windows, which makes it more competitive with Citrix nowadays (for none complex scenarios). Also Microsoft pays more attention to RDS (including the MS VDI implementation) on conferences and announcements. Microsoft was also the first how "dared" to say that RD Session Host is real alternative solution for VDI implementations. However Microsoft does not really care if you are using Citrix instead, because they earn the same amount of money.

The Others

I did a quick search if someone stood up and developed a new product. However I did not find any product that's really new in the market. You will find some companies like Graphon GoGlobal or TSplus that offer similar functionality without using Microsoft RDS. But these are small companies that have their own specific market.

Summarized most still exist, but do not actively market this product much. The companies that advertised a lot those days now have other products, which they bring in attention. The other ones relying on their current customers or don't actively promote/develop the product anymore. If those are not marketing and/or develop their product anymore, Citrix is not triggered to react on such suppliers. When your completion is not marketing, why should you if you are already the most well-known manufacturer.

VDI is Hip and Happening

Actually I think Dutch people are using Hip and Happening more than English native speakers, but VID is hot and hyped at this moment. Many (IT) directors and management boards love the commercial message told by the suppliers and would like to have VDI. So VDI is a market with lots of selling opportunities. Also a market where currently no supplier is leading the race, besides Citrix VMware and Quest are also on front of the race. With that much completion in a grow market you should position your product and company and so market the product as much as possible. As money can only be spend once, it's logical that other product will get less space.

XenDesktop includes mostly XenApp

One of the clever things Citrix has done his including the usage of XenApp within the XenDesktop product. So if a prospect is interested in XenDesktop he will also be informed about the possibilities of XenApp. A good example was one session I attended called What's new in XenDesktop 5, where also the new features in XenApp 6.5 were discussed (actually most of the presentation was about the features in XenApp 6.5). So my marketing XenDesktop Citrix automatically markets XenApp if the process gets one step further.


The feeling that Citrix forgets XenApp is logical if you already working/implementing XenApp. When you think a bit more about it, I tried to write down why Citrix is not taking too much attention to XenApp (in marketing activities and conference).


  • Because almost no other company is really marketing products in the Server Based Computing market nowadays.
  • VDI is big growing market, where also other players are acting heavily.
  • With marketing XenDesktop the prospects will also look at XenApp, because it's mentioned regular in the XenDesktop materials and offered within the XenDesktop product.