It was great to hear the news from Citrix Synergy that XenClient, Citrix's Type 1 hypervisor being built in partnership with Intel, will be offered free of charge.
Back when the news of the Citrix/Intel relationship and Project Independence (the code name for XenClient) first broke, we agreed with the experts who said embedding the bare-metal client hypervisor in the chip would accelerate mainstream adoption. We were also excited, given Unidesk is building a new class of desktop management software that's designed to leverage server-side and client-side virtualization. But we also recognized it would take a few years for the Type 1s to hit the market, given the dependency on hardware refresh cycles, and the time it will take for PC OEMs to build them into their product lines.
What Citrix just announced at its annual conference improves the picture. By making XenClient free, existing notebooks and PCs can become virtualized as soon as XenClient is available, enabling Unidesk to manage notebooks and PCs in addition to hosted virtual desktops (VDI). This, in turn, will accelerate our ability to make "thick" as easy and inexpensive to manage as "thin," and make enterprise desktop buying decisions purely a question of CapEx ("do I go with the thin client, or pay a little more for that notebook or PC to have local processing and off-line capabilities?").
There's another important angle here. By offering XenClient at no charge (to go along with its earlier announcement of not charging for basic editions of XenServer), Citrix is helping make virtualization infrastructure a commodity.
We hoped this would happen. We believe the path to monetization and the true customer value are “up the stack” in the management of virtual desktops, not in the desktop virtualization infrastructure itself. It’s why our patent-pending desktop management technology assumes the existence of client-side and server-side hypervisors. And it’s why we believe Citrix’s announcement is another important step along the path to desktop management software reinvention.
Unidesk Chief Marketing Officer