Users to get Windows 10 desktops on Azure option later this quarter

Citrix plans to deliver two new ways to virtualize Microsoft software with XenDesktop Essentials and XenApp Essentials later this calendar quarter.
Written by Mary Jo Foley, Senior Contributing Editor

Microsoft partner Citrix Systems will be rolling out two new ways to virtualize Microsoft software later this calendar quarter.


Those who want to run their Windows 10 desktops virtually will be able to use Citrix's XenDesktop Essentials. Those who want to deliver business apps remotely directly from Azure will have the option to use XenApp Essentials. XenApp Essentials -- the technology known for the past few months as "XenApp Express" -- is meant to replace Microsoft's Azure RemoteApp, which Microsoft is phasing out.

Neither Citrix nor Microsoft is disclosing specific pricing or detailed licensing information for either of these new offerings right now. That will happen closer to the general availability of the two new products, Citrix officials said.

Representatives from both companies did say last year that XenDesktop Essentials will be available only to those with Windows 10 Enterprise and Software Assurance on a per-user basis, and it will be managing their Windows 10 images on Azure through XenDesktop virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI).

To date, users have been able to run Windows 7 and 8.1 clients on Azure in virtual machines, but only for development and test purposes. Doing so otherwise would be a violation of licensing terms.

Azure RemoteApp, codenamed "Mohoro," allows users to deploy Windows applications and access them for a variety of devices. Microsoft made RemoteApp generally available in December 2014.

Microsoft officials announced plans to drop RemoteApp last August, citing various technical challenges. The new Citrix XenApp Essentials product will include Citrix remote protocol support and greater manageability of the image and app, Citrix officials said.

Citrix officials announced the updated delivery timetables for XenApp Essentials and XenDesktop Essentials on Jan. 9, the opening day of the Citrix Summit show in Anaheim, Calif.

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