Today at VMworld 2007, Microsoft Corp. and Citrix Systems Inc. announced that they have strengthened their longtime integration alliance in the desktop and application delivery market by standardizing on the Microsoft® Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) format as a common runtime environment for both virtualized operating systems and applications.
This collaboration will result in future versions of Citrix’s Desktop Server and virtual application solutions adopting the Microsoft VHD format. At the same time, Microsoft plans to adapt a future version of Microsoft SoftGrid Application Virtualization for both the desktop and Terminal Services to the VHD format. Microsoft and Citrix will also collaborate on emerging virtualization technologies and virtual infrastructure management tools to help ensure interoperability and simplified administration for end users.
IT professionals within large organizations have an increasing need to maintain control over desktop environments. The cost of deploying and administering PCs — sometimes tens of thousands of PCs — across an enterprise can be significant, especially without the proper infrastructure in place to aid in the automation of these tasks. Add to that the growing complexity created by more mobile and temporary workers, and new data security and compliance requirements.
For more than 18 years, Microsoft and Citrix have offered solutions that improve the delivery of Windows® applications and desktops using Citrix Presentation Server running on Microsoft Terminal Services. More recently, the two companies have collaborated on solutions designed to simplify branch office computing using Citrix WANScaler running on the Microsoft Windows Server® 2003 and Microsoft Internet Security and Acceleration Server platforms. Today’s news extends that alliance, making it easier for mutual customers and partners to design virtualization directly into their solutions, using their existing investment and providing a road map for the future.
“Customers want options for making desktop computing and applications more broadly accessible. Their needs vary widely depending upon bandwidth, user location, and application type and information sensitivity,