My Take on Simon vs. Brian
An amusing response by Simon Crosby, Citrix Virtualization & Management Division CTO, to an amusing post by Brian Madden. What especially caught my eye in this exchange is this statement made by Simon Crosby:
Since you [Brian Madden] are clearly no longer an engineer, you probably don’t know how long it took for those of us interested in using and extending RFx to actually get working code from Microsoft. As it is, we are lucky to have made the considerable progress we’ve managed thus far, in delivering RFx from XenDesktop. To date we have seen no API support for RFx from Microsoft, for Windows TS.
I am an engineer, and I can certainly feel for Simon’s/Citrix’s pain. Given the way that XenApp and XenDesktop are architected, it is indeed very difficult for Citrix to support new Microsoft features, such as RemoteFX. This is because XenApp and XenDesktop replace core components within Microsoft Windows. This requires Citrix to perform a lot of integration work with low level Windows APIs (that sometimes don’t exist), and utilize Microsoft code (that sometimes they can’t get),. The upshot of all this is that it takes Citrix a lot of time and effort to support new Windows features, and even longer to properly support them. It also makes it very difficult for Citrix to support multiple Windows versions in one product, which is why they don’t support mixed farms.
We at Ericom decided, from the get go, to circumvent this problem all together. Rather than trying to replace Windows core components, we utilize and enhance the existing Microsoft components. For example, rather than replace RDP with our own proprietary protocol, we enhance, extend and improve RDP. This makes our life much easier, and generally enables us to properly support Windows features, such as RemoteFX (for both VDI and TS/SBC) on the day they are released. We even support mixed farms with one product, all the way from Windows 2003 to 2008 R2 SP1.
Like my father says: work smarter not harder.