In my 11-year journey at Citrix I have never seen a Synergy Keynote that was as exciting as the one Mark Templeton presided over yesterday.  The event was informative and jam-packed with meaty content as new acquisitions and products blended smoothly into a coherent story about solutions for Personal, Private and Public Clouds.

Mark finished the Keynote a bit late due to the massive amount of news and content that he needed to get out.  Then he showed the “one more thing”.  This event’s “one more” was a live demo of Citrix Receiver for Web/HTML5 embedded into Facebook.  BradP (aka Chief Demo Officer) showed how, with Receiver, a user can seamlessly switch between Facebook browsing, shopping or playing to a cloud hosted Citrix desktop to do some work or check some numbers to ensure that a large purchase was going to be ok budget-wise.  I would have gone for the 911 rather than the Cayman but that’s a different story.

The blending of Facebook with Receiver was the result of a project that Alexandr Smelov developed within the Cloud App team at Citrix.  This is a proof of concept to show what is possible with the HTML5 Receiver and Facebook’s app integration capabilities.  When we envisioned the blending of these seemingly disparate environments we thought it might be interesting to our Citrix Service Provider (CSP) partners.  Imagine exposing the 800 million Facebook users to a new way of thinking about the desktop.  This embedded desktop experience gets users thinking about the work environment not just as a static thing that sits on the desk at work but as a workplace that is available whenever and wherever they are; available any time they want to get some work done.  I think it might be very interesting for CSPs to offer a free trial of Windows apps and desktops as a Service (what Mark referred to as “WaaS”) to any Facebook user and leverage this technology to offer it inside Facebook itself.  This exposes entirely new audiences to the concept of a cloud based desktop through viral means and has excellent potential to spread the word about what is possible today with a cloud based WaaS solution.

What do you think about this demo and its viral potential?