This idea was documented in an email on May 30, 2003. It had been an idea that I had advocated from years before but it seemed like a good time to document it with the hopes that it would get better chances. The basic idea was to sell a single user version of our main product for use on consumer computers. During the early 2000s, there was a strong push to have more products with the hopes of raising more market share and more business in general.
Here is the idea:
This idea for a single user ICA server has been around for quite some time but I wanted to formalize why it is important.
1. Gets us into the consumer market so that people can use it at home and on their workstations
2. Potentially gives us a product that is extremely popular with consumers that give us better name recognition
3. Allows for sharing applications between users using the machines they are working on
4. Avoid issues that multi-user situations brings to applications (all apps should work given enough bandwidth)
5. We can charge money for this and improve our income
6. Could be sold in retail markets
7. Would encourage people to further invest in Citrix technology in the MetaFrame suite
8. Allows for the allocation of one machine per user which would guarantee performance and usuability.
9. Lower cost entry point to using Citrix technology
10. Single user server could integrate into Citrix farms for the intent of publishing one app to one user
11. It solves the problem of getting the user to their desktop to run their desktop apps if they are remote
The first problem with getting to be a $1 billion dollar company is to get people to know who you are. The easiest way to do this is sell them products that they can use. We currently do not sell to users. We sell to companies and IT managers. Some users do not even know they are using Citrix technology. Having a consumer product is a big step forward to having people know what you do.
That is why people will pick big software companies first since those companies usually have a strong consumer presence (like Microsoft).
Technically, I do not think it is difficult to do this product. The base is already with Windows XP and a prototype has already been done with Jardine.
If we do decide to go ahead with this project, we have the potential to greatly expand our business.
This idea was not rejected but marked for revisit in 2004. As far as I know, it was not revisited.
XenDesktop with PortICA was first to address the single user solution. Jardine got bogged down with Microsoft since it used Terminal Services API.
It is unknown if this would have really made a difference to Citrix. At this point most people that use remote connections in the consumer market would use Microsoft RDP. It helps to be built in. In most cases the consumers aren’t even aware of what is going on. Microsoft has done a great job of blending it in.
Even now there is an opportunity to make PortICA a standalone solution. If it was enabled this way, it would essentially allow for this idea to exist fully. Many customers have asked for a standalone version in the last few months. There is a sense that some don’t want a full VDI implementation and just want an integrated Citrix experience.