This has not been a very well kept secret as rumors have been posted on other blogs since Citrix Summit08 began on January 29th. But by now, it is official, the product name has changed from Citrix Presentation Server to Citrix XenApp. This is intended to better align the name with the use cases that it addresses today. “Presentation Server” was a good name for the product when all it did was server-side application virtualization (i.e. host Terminal Server sessions for users connecting over ICA or RDP). However, when we added client-side application virtualization in the form of application streaming and isolation, the product changed fundamentally to support all Windows applications running on both servers and desktops, not just those that are hosted on TS itself. We have been saying for about a year that the product is an end-to-end application delivery solution for all Windows applications.
So, painful as it might seem initially, the time is right for the product to take on a new name. The benefits to doing this include:
1. Moving away from the “Presentation” moniker which today is associated only with server-side app virtualization.
2. Moving towards a new name that aligns around our world-class virtualization brand – Xen.
3. Giving customers and partners a clear indication that the product is now completely new and different from what they are used to (“this is not your father’s MetaFrame”) and that they need to learn more about client-side app virtualization and how it can fulfill more of their app delivery and centralized application management needs.
So why use Xen? Citrix has taken the Xen name and transformed it into a powerful over-arching brand that has come to mean “virtualization done right” or “the best virtualization solutions for the dynamic datacenter”. Presentation Server has been the most successful application virtualization product in history and today it includes multiple ways to deliver virtualized applications. It logically follows then that the product that provides the best way to deliver virtualized apps from the dynamic datacenter to the users who need them, either on central servers or distributed to client desktops, should be called XenApp.