It’s been a very hectic week and a bit since Citrix announced XenDesktop 4. As owner of the Trade-up to XenDesktop 4 program for XenApp customers, I have been fielding lots of questions from partners, analysts, customers and Citrites as the word has been spreading rapidly. I thought it would be a good idea to follow up with a blog post series that captures many of the questions and answers.

Before I get into the first question, let me do a quick refresher on the program. First, the program is designed to make it very easy and attractive for any XenApp customer to trade-up to XenDesktop 4. Any customer, who is current on Subscription Advantage (SA) that Trades-up all their licenses to XenDesktop 4 at once, gets 2 XenDesktop 4 user or device licenses for every 1 XenApp concurrent license. The pricing is such that they save 80% off the purchase of new XenDesktop 4 licenses. If a customer doesn’t want to trade up all their licenses at once, they can trade-up a portion of them and receive 1 XenDesktop 4 user or device license for every 1 XenApp CCU. Pricing is set such that the customer saves up to 70% off the purchase of new XenDesktop 4 licenses. In both cases, customers can use their existing SA renewal budget to fund the bulk of the Trade-up. This program is similar to the Upgrade to XenApp Platinum that we introduced to coincide with the launch of Platinum in Q1 of 2007 and was very well received by our customers. In fact approximately 70% of the upgrades to Platinum happened at SA renewal time.

If a customer has expired SA, no problem. They can Trade-up any Enterprise or Platinum licenses going back to MetaFrame XP. Pricing is set such that the customer saves up to 50% off the purchase of new XenDesktop 4 licenses.

In all cases, customers get another year of Subscription Advantage and when they renew, they do so at the lower XenDesktop 4 rate.

One of the first things that comes up is – “who should consider the Trade-up?” Before I answer, consider the following two key points. XenDesktop 4 contains all the functionality of XenApp (including the latest goodies introduces in XenApp 5 Feature Pack 2 like VM Hosted Apps, HDX enhancements for Flash and Power and Capacity Management) as well as all the latest XenDesktop 4 features (such as FlexCast Delivery Technologies). Customers who Trade-up and implement XenDesktop 4 can leverage all their XenApp experience to deliver apps the way they always have and full virtual desktops as well. What is even cooler is point two. If you Trade-up your licenses now, you don’t have to implement XenDesktop 4 until you’re ready. Your current XenApp implementation will run on your new XenDesktop 4 licenses. You can update your infrastructure when you’re ready. One last little pitch. XenDesktop 4 works with any existing storage management and server virtualization infrastructure (including VMware).

All that said really any customer who has a concurrency ratio of 2:1 or less or multiple users per device should consider the Trade-up. If your organization is thinking about desktop virtualization now or in the future, you should consider the Trade-up. If you’re about to embark on a desktop refresh with Win 7 and are looking at ways to reduce desktop management costs, consider the Trade-up.

Let’s look at an example of a customer who has 1,000 licenses of XA Platinum at a 2:1 concurrency ratio and is considering Trade-up (Please note that prices here are SRP. No volume discounting has been applied). Of course, first thing they would do is go to the Trade-up calculator to check out the dynamics. If the customer Trades-up 100% of their licenses, they’d get the 2-for-1 and would have 2,000 XenDesktop 4 user or device licenses. To fund the Trade-up, they’d take their $50,000 of budgeted SA renewal and add $45,000. Now they have the ability to deliver full virtual desktops as well as applications. The renewal rate of SA the following year would be based on the $35/user or device and would be $70,000. Not bad considering they have more than twice the functionality they had before and double the number of licensed users or devices. Plus, the licensing flexibility gives the customer to provide access unlimited virtual devices per user or unlimited users per virtual device depending on whether they choose a per user or per device model.

We worked hard to make it easy for our customers to add desktop virtualization to their working XenApp implementations, to minimize risk and to reward them for their loyalty.

Probably enough for the first post. More to come.

Bill Hartwick, Sr. Director of Product Marketing for XenApp