Citrix customers fear Windows, get Linux

Citrix is developing one of its key security products in Linux because its customers feel Windows is too much of a security risk

Citrix has outlined plans to develop a Linux version of one of its key security products -- because customers believe that using Windows servers for access systems exposes them to too many security risks. Speaking at the company's European iForum conference, chief technology officer Bob Kruger revealed that a Linux version of Citrix Secure Gateway (CSG) was scheduled for release later this year. "People who have some trepidation about putting Windows in the DMZ are happier putting Linux in there," he said. CSG, which was originally developed in the company's Sydney research labs, is used to provide secure access to Citrix's application hosting servers. Concerns over security have been an ongoing problem for the Windows platform. Last year, Microsoft was forced to halt new development for a month to conduct a complete security review of all Windows code. Security fears have also driven an increasing interest in Linux, in part because of its open source development model, which makes it easier to identify potential vulnerabilities, and in part because of its tightly integrated user access system, which makes deploying virus code more difficult. Despite its close relationship with Microsoft, which licensed the company's original WinFrame thin client software as the basis for its Windows Terminal Server, Citrix has been paying increasing attention to Linux. A new version of its Linux ICA client is also due out by June, making it possible to deploy Windows applications such as Office on low-spec PCs running Linux. The ability to run a mixture of Windows and Unix applications also continues to be a key selling point for Citrix's MetaFrame software, which is now forced to compete with the Windows-only Terminal Server.

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