Friday Notebook, January 12: Citrix Summit, CES, and Dropbox IPO

Industry news

Citrix Summit came and went this week with very little in terms of public news. Past years have seen acquisitions or important product news, but the main headline at this

year’s event was a revamped partner incentive program called Citrix Ultimate Rewards. This new program is intended to streamline the process of getting credit for deals while incentivizing partners to move their customers towards the cloud. Citrix has caught flack over the years for their treatment of channel partners, especially as their cloud efforts took off, so we’ll have to see how the partner community responds to the new program.

Citrix also wrote a blog post intended for customers that plan on running Windows 7-based VDI desktops until the bitter end, January 14, 2020. This is a point of concern for many because the latest version of the XenDesktop VDA (7.16) has been fully optimized for Windows 10 and no longer supports Windows 7. In a nutshell, the XenDesktop 7.15 LTSR release serves as the last version that supports Windows 7 through Windows 10 across the entire stack, but you can still use the XenDesktop 7.15 LTSR VDA with later versions of XenDesktop if you want to upgrade. Certain features that make sense to backport to 7.15 LTSR will continue to be available, but others might not make it. You can read the full story in their post.

VMware had a few announcements this week, as well. In separate posts, they announced a new version of VMware User Environment Manager, as well as a list of the new features in Horizon 7.4 and Horizon Client 4.7 (try not to get those version numbers confused!). User Environment Manager includes new features such as Outlook data file storage using AppVolumes, Integration with the Horizon VMware Logon Monitor service, support for Windows 10 version 1709, and documentation enhancements. The Horizon and Horizon client updates include session collaboration capabilities, where you can invite people to view and/or control your session, Instant-Clone support for Linux, Instant-Clone support for NVIDIA GPU-enabled RDS hosts, additional Skype for Business features, and more.

UniPrint has entered the cloud by acquiring ePRINTit USA, a company that was not on our radar before today. According to the press release, ePRINTit has a partnership with HP that has resulted in “15 Million mobile app downloads and embedded print driver technology in over 100 Million PCs globally.” The functionality enables end users to send their documents to geo-located printers at various retail and education locations.

An app called Confide has introduced an iOS screenshot prevention feature and SDK. This has always been tricky, as there’s no straightforward iOS API to do this, and as a workaround, Apple could always break it accidentally or intentionally in future releases. John Gruber of Daring Fireball offered a possible explanation of how it might work. Naturally, there’s an EMM angle here, so we’ll see if this piques the interest, is adopted, or is imitated by any enterprise ISVs or vendors.

Bloomberg is reporting rumors that Dropbox filed confidentially for an IPO. Of note, Dropbox said last year that it has annualized sales of more than $1 billion. They’re also profitable, if you ignore interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization.

In response to activist investors, Apple is planning new parental controls for iOS. The interesting thing is that parental controls and mobile app management have a lot in common. They might leverage existing MDM features, or conversely, they could introduce new features that MDM couple use, too. As Jack has been saying for a while, it’s time for iOS to get better at BYOD, so we can only hope that this is a step in that direction.

The 2018 Consumer Electronics show ran this week, and as with most years, there were a few odd device mashups and somehow we can’t resist taking a look. Dell Mobile Connect lets you view and mobile apps from your nearby phone on your new Dell laptop. This really feels like something that should have been at CES 2012, not 2018, but one difference is that it does appear to be taking advantage of Android 7.0’s multi-window support. Then there’s the Razer Project Linda, a concept laptop that has a slot that holds a phone and uses it to both as a trackpad and to power the laptop. This one is just a concept and might not see the light of day, which is probably a good thing, since as we’ve said againandagainandagain, the niche for these things ranges from narrow to non-existent, depending on your use case.

Lastly, if you like to hear things in podcast form, Russ Mohr (from MobileIron), Sean Ginevan, (now at Google, formerly of MobileIron), and Gene Trinks (from Google, having come in through the Divide (a.k.a. Enterproid) acquisition) published an informative podcast about the state of Android enterprise and Android security. Listen here, and stay tuned for part two.

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