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Azure and Citrix Workspace Now at Center of Microsoft-Citrix Pact

Microsoft and Citrix this week announced a multiyear agreement in which Citrix will use Microsoft Azure as its preferred cloud services provider, while Microsoft will promote Citrix Workspace as a "preferred digital workspace solution."

The move marks the latest development in the two companies' longtime collaborative partnership efforts. Here's how it was expressed in a joint announcement by the companies:

Under the terms of the deal, Microsoft will select Citrix Workspace as a preferred digital workspace solution, and Citrix will select Microsoft Azure as a preferred cloud platform, moving existing on-premises Citrix customers to Microsoft Azure to enable people to work anywhere across devices.

While customer choice was mentioned, there's a distinct Azure cloud push associated with the deal. Both companies will be involved in building tools to help customers use Azure services. Moreover, "Microsoft will lead sales with Citrix Cloud to move existing on-premises Citrix customers to Azure," the announcement indicated.

A collaborative sales effort by the two companies will focus on "Citrix Workspace, Citrix SD-WAN, Microsoft Azure and Microsoft 365." These sales efforts will happen directly, via channel partners or through the Azure Marketplace.

Microsoft rolled out its Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) service for remote connections last year. WVD might be seen as introducing competition with Citrix in the VDI space, but this week's announcement suggested that Citrix's solutions could help with the complexity associated with using WVD.

In particular, Citrix products -- such as Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops, as well as Citrix Managed Desktops -- can work with the WVD service "to simplify and accelerate the transition of applications workloads to Azure," the joint announcement explained.

WVD can also work for organizations opting to use Citrix's cloud services, per a Citrix announcement: "With Citrix, customers can deliver WVD as part of a unified environment, fully integrated with their Citrix cloud subscription alongside on-prem, mobile, multi-cloud, and SaaS apps."

Microsoft and Citrix have worked together since "Citrix's beginnings in 1989," the Citrix announcement explained. Four years ago, their partnership was described as being centered on Windows 10 as accessed by Citrix's XenDesktop VDI solution, which wasn't mentioned in this week's announcement.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.

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