Many of you know that Citrix and Microsoft has a rich 20 year history built on XenApp/Remote Desktop Services (Terminal Services) which has grown to over a billion dollar business for both companies.  Now our partnership extends to desktop virtualization as their preferred and recommended VDI partner for desktop delivery.  For the past year, Microsoft and Citrix has been working together to deliver the best VDI solution based on price and value to our customers and partners. 

At Worldwide Partner Conference, Microsoft introduced two licenses for VDI-- the Microsoft Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Standard Suite and the Microsoft Virtual Desktop Infrastructure Premium Suite. 

Before the introduction of these licenses, VDI license from Microsoft consisted of multiple SKUs from multiple products that ranged from annual and perpetual licenses.  At only $21 per year per device, the VDI Standard Suite is about one-third the cost of a corresponding VMware View edition http://www.microsoft.com/windows/enterprise/solutions/virtualization/improve-flexibility.aspx

This recent announcement raised several questions from partner and customer.

What is the cost comparison between Citrix/Microsoft versus VMware?

Many people assume that a partner based solution (1+1) has to cost more that VMware.  In fact, VMware’s offering costs 25% more than our joint VDI offering with Microsoft that consists of XenDesktop and the VDI suite (Hyper-V Server, System Center Virtual Machine Manager, System Center Configuration Manager, System Center Operations Manager, Remote Desktop Services (CAL) and MDOP). 

When does Microsoft recommend Citrix?

Microsoft recently posted a blog from Manlio Vecchiet and recommends Citrix for those customers who need an enterprise-ready solution at a cost competitive to VMware.

What are the advantages of our joint solution with Microsoft compared to VMware?

That is a difficult question since comparing the two VDI solutions are like comparing apples (VMware) to fruit baskets (Citrix/Microsoft).  Without getting into the weeds of features and functionality our joint VDI solution offers the following:

-          Industry leading Desktop Delivery Solution with XenDesktop

-          Industry leading Application Delivery Solution with App-V and Remote Desktop Services (RDS)

-          Fastest growing hypervisor platform in the Industry with Hyper-V

-          The only integrated management solution with SystemCenter to manage physical and virtual desktops

-          Lowest VDI TCO with XenDesktop and Microsoft VDI Suite

How can partners benefit from the Microsoft and Citrix partnership?

AT WPC, Citrix and Microsoft launched a new campaign to turbocharge their joint channel with Citrix-Microsoft virtualization solutions. The Citrix-Microsoft Virtualization Partner Campaign (CMVP) provides free and discounted partner program registration, virtualization training, and sales and marketing support to partners looking to drive the broad set of solutions supported by Citrix and Microsoft virtualization products, including presentation, application, desktop and server virtualization. As an added bonus, partners who opt for an additional level of hands-on training will become eligible for Citrix-Microsoft proof-of-concept funding, to support partners’ efforts to get these solutions tested in front of customers ASAP.