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Citrix launches Windows 10 VDI from Azure

But there's no sight of the RemoteApp replacement promised for early 2017

By Simon Sharwood, 20 Mar 2017

Citrix has taken the wraps off the “XenDesktop Essentials Service for Microsoft Azure”, a product that lets you run virtual Windows 10 desktops from Microsoft's cloud. But the XenApp Express product it and Microsoft said would replace Azure remoteapp remains hidden from view.

XenDesktop Essentials is a cloud service that uses Citrix's Studio, Director, Delivery Controller and StoreFront products to create and manage Windows 10 desktops, monitor their performance, secure user access and let users get at their cloudy desktops from an app-store-esque environment. Citrix has tossed them all into Essentials, tossed that into Azure and slapped a price tag of US$12/month per user on the lot.

Once you bring your Windows licences, you can then set up virtual desktops in Azure and use Essentials to set them spinning. Users access their desktops with Citrix Receiver, which runs on MacOS, iOS, Android, Windows and Linux.

For organisations with bespoke apps on Windows, this is good news as they can now shove a desktop into Azure and publish it to Receiver on multiple platforms. Hello, mobility and cross-platform fun!

But desktops can also be overkill, as Citrix well knows because it offers the XenApp an application publishing business too.

Microsoft likes Citrix's thinking so much it killed off its own application publishing offering, Azure RemoteApp, in favour of a deal for Citrix to create XenApp Essentials as a replacement.

XenApp Essentials was promised for an “early 2017” debut. And here we are with XenDesktop Essentials arriving but no replacement for RemoteApp in sight.

Citrix tells The Register its plans to reveal more about XenApp Essentials in the first half of the year remains in place. ®

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