Citrix started as an engineering based company and later became a marketing based company. This transition happened around 2001 (This is based on my observations and conclusions, your opinions may vary).
The focus shift has made it much more difficult for the engineering department to influence the direction of the company and the products which it works on.
I’m not sure how to clarify this. I think the start of change happened when Ed Iacobucci (Founder/CTO/President) left the company.
I suppose I miss the days when the engineering group had more clout to get things done. I think deep down I know that it is very hard to market something without more focus on development. Perhaps I’m just hopeful of some kind of more natural balance.
You’re not the only one who noticed this shift. It’s sad for all the hardcore techs to see a great tech company turn so dramatically to marketing. I still don’t understand what an access infrastructure is 😉
This effect is quite obvious because instead of the product being inventive and comming up with intentive ideas the naming is now just inventive as they try to sell the same product year after year under different names. The only thing that realy happens to the product is that the bugs shift around in the codebase during close down, other than that it’s the same product year after year after year with new bug shifts.
I am a bit more optimistic than the other posters, I understand the shift in Citrix and see it as a necessary step in the evolution of the company. The loss of Ed Iacobucci was the biggest change, most people are not really aware but it was him the created and drove the innovation. The next milestone was the goal to become a 1 Billion dollar company. These two events crystallized Citrix as market driven. I however, do not necessarily believe this is bad. I think the perception that Presentation Server is the same product over and over is not really fair, it is much, much better than ever before. There is a noticeably lack of innovation in branch areas such as printing and profile managment, I would agree there. The new aquisitions thought are generally very good products and allow the company to broaden and deepen.
I think the risk was more obvious closer to the time of the transition.
If you become too focused on the marketing messages, you lose touch with what engineering can really do. Or, even more interesting, engineering might be able to do things that marketing would consider impossible.
I miss the influence of Ed Iacobucci on the company. I still hope for the return of a good CTO to Citrix. Currently there is no CTO position.
I would agree that MetaFrame/CPS has improved greatly over the years. It isn’t the same code that was always there. It is an over-simplification to saw that things just move around.
I am optimistic in the hope of change. Realistically, I do not change will happen unless we have some kind of large crisis.
With that in mind, I would say “Longhorn”.