back to article Microsoft bins Azure RemoteApp, says go with Citrix instead

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 …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Makes sense

    Microsoft gets to shift licenses and cloudy server runtime,but somebody else does the heavy lifting. Plus ICA/HDX still blows RDP out of the water as a WAN remoting protocol. Especially with the recent addition of Framehawk for very lossy networks.

  2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    That must hurt

    Not the part where Microsoft admits that one of it's products sucks - it's been doing that regularly, although not always so openly.

    No, what must hurt is admitting that someone else is doing a better job for customer satisfaction. Of course, Microsoft doesn't give a flying monkey's about customer satisfaction any more (only just enough to be able to keep the telemetry on), but admitting it still must carry a heavy sting.

    1. david 12

      Re: That must hurt

      Son, the Terminal Services Edition of NT 4.0 used Citrix : MS was a Citrix client before you were born.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: That must hurt

        @Pascal

        MS and Citrix have been in bed together for many years, Every time somebody buys Xenapp licensing they also need to buy RDS CALs, so it has always been a win-win for MS. Citrix salesforce effectively selling Microsoft licenses, without MS having to pay them.

        The terminal services functionality (MultiWin multi user session handling though not the crown jewels ICA protocol) originally found in Citrix WinFrame was licensed to Microsoft from Citrix.

        If you ever used the TS admin tools in NT4 TS edition they looked identical to the Citrix Metaframe tools (hint: because they were the same tools).

        This is an extension of their relationship.

      2. TonyJ Silver badge

        Re: That must hurt

        "...Son, the Terminal Services Edition of NT 4.0 used Citrix : MS was a Citrix client before you were born..."

        Well said.

        Now a bit more history - Citrix bought the source to Windows NT 3.11 and rewrote parts of it to create WinFrame.

        Microsoft decided to buy the code back to create 'Hydra" - Windows NT 4.0 Terminal Services Edition and Citrix created MetaFrame to run on top of it.

        The fact is, Citrix, traditionally did this kind of thing before, and better, than Microsoft. Microsoft played catchup with each successive version of Windows Server, whilst Citrix usually managed to stay one or two steps ahead.

        It has always been an interesting conundrum why Microsoft never showed interest in buying Citrix outright.

      3. John Sanders
        Windows

        Re: That must hurt

        Grandson,

        Citrix WinFrame became a thing with NT 3.5.

        These youngsters...

  3. Doogie Howser MD

    Rug Pullers

    The timing of this is slightly fortuitous - I was only talking to a customer about RemoteApp last week. I never really liked it a whole lot, but to have it pulled so quickly really makes you stop and think about how you make decisions when you're using public cloud.

    Basically, always have a fire exit to jump somewhere else at short notice.

    1. P. Lee Silver badge

      Re: Rug Pullers

      Part of their "very, very rapidly evolving" Azure suite.

  4. John Sanders
    Holmes

    Citrix ICA

    Was always great, and almost the only product that mattered on the Citrix product porfolio, hence why Citrix neglected it lately (At some point they though on discontinuing it due to MS RemoteApp pressure)

    I have fond memories of setting Citrix server farms.

    I never understood why Citrix kept changing the name, WinFrame, MetaFrame, Presentation Server, then XenApp.

    Funny how over the years everybody kept calling it just Citrix.

    I think what MS has done here is to cede Citrix the Remote application side of their Azure operation, in exchange Citrix is to finish the screwing of Xen (the virtual platform)

    I foresee that Citrix will get rid of Xen in 3...2...1...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Citrix ICA

      Up until very recently Citrix had a thing for renaming things for no apparent reason on a regular basis. Not just whole products either, but components within the product when service packs/feature releases came out.

      The first Citrix exam I did was for Metaframe XP. I went on a training course which was based on the initial release. By the time I did the exam feature release 2 had been released. I had to do a web course on the differences between the initial release and FR2. I would hazard a guess that about 50% of the web course was just stating the new names of things, which you needed to know for the exam as it had very stupid questions about what things were currently called (so if you answered Citrix management console instead of management console for Citrix you got it wrong).

      Probably the best example was when they rebranded Presentation server as Xenapp, even retrospectively renaming the old versions (yeah, that thing you have been using for the last few years, it is actually called Xenapp. What? It says Presentation Server on the console?)

      The only recent case of pointless renaming has been Branch Repeater -> Wanscaler -> Cloudbridge.

  5. danjackson

    Does this mean that non-Azure RemoteApp is going away as well?

    One of the app providers at my workplace uses RemoteApp from a (presumably) Windows server to deliver an app to us, will that be going away as well?

  6. Erik4872

    This is actually good news

    The entire Azure space is very confusing right now. Microsoft is trying with all their might to get people onto Azure AD -- just click here and you have Office 365! -- and Azure RemoteApp was to be one of the key ways to do it. The only problem is that you needed a proprietary client (last time I checked,) an Azure AD account, and the apps you publish had to run on the latest version of Windows, essentially unmodified.

    The problem is that 99% of users who require RemoteApp/Citrix have at least 1 or 2 "senior" applications that don't perform well without a million tweaks, app compat shims, etc. Azure RemoteApp didn't give control over the individual VMs, so it was basically a way to serve up Office. In addition, the real hardcore Citrix users (healthcare and banking) tend to have really crazy application requirements, making traditional XenApp and traditional AD the solution, even if you deploy it in Azure.

  7. thaoduong

    Another option

    Citrix XenApp is apparently not the only solution. There are third-party providers like MyCloudIT who can automate the provisioning of remote applications and remote desktops in Azure. Plus, they are ready now, not in 3 months: https://mycloudit.com/

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Another option

      After a very brief look at that website, it looks like they just provision Remote App for you as a service. Could be a problem once Remote App disappears.

      I could be wrong though, as I siad it was a very brief look.

      1. thaoduong

        Re: Another option

        They actually used Remote Desktop Solution on IaaS to provision remote apps, so their service will be running just fine when RemoteApp disappers.

  8. quxinot Silver badge

    Cloud computing once again being shown to be like riding in a cab. You have no control over where you're going, and the person driving doesn't appear to either.

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