Introducing XenApp

Citrix has officially announced the name change for what was called “Citrix Presentation Server”. The original NDA announcement came during Citrix Summit and it was quickly written about on the web. I’ve been avoiding the topic like the plague since I knew no good would come from talking about it early. Finally, I can relax and write about it.

The industry has already reacted to this name change and the overall consensus is good. There have been a few comments that it is a good idea to have a similar naming scheme for the different products. Another common comment is that Citrix needs to get value for this brand based on the acquisition price.

Either way, there doesn’t seem to be much resistance to the idea of changing the name.

Let’s briefly summarize the names that Citrix has had for its main product:

  • 1990 Multiuser
  • 1992 A+ Remote
  • 1993 WinView
  • 1995 WinFrame
  • 1998 MetaFrame
  • 2001 MetaFrame XP
  • 2004 Presentation Server
  • 2008 XenApp

I’m not completely sure about the date of the Presentation Server introduction. It could be plus or minus a year. As you can see from this, the pace of name changes has actually slowed down over the years. We are changing names about every four years or so based on this past history. Perhaps it will happen next in 2012.

This really is the realm of marketing and it is clear that any engineer isn’t going to have a viable opinion as to what the name should be or how long the current name should last. Changing the name is the easiest way to bring a fresh angle into a product line that we founded in 1995. Certainly there have been many additions and improvements but the basic idea of how things work is largely the same.

A prediction I would make is that the worlds of XenApp and XenDesktop are going to collide. This will especially be true if XenDesktop is allowed to mature and achieve seamless applications. This could be a good thing. At some future point the two worlds are likely to merge and be able to fit either environment.

The Xen prefix doesn’t mean that XenDesktop only does Xen. A great deal of work has been done to make sure it works with another vendor as well as working on real machines. This includes individual machines as well as blades. I’ve mentioned this before. The confusion customers have is the cost of using Xen in the name.

Like any name change, it usually takes time for me to grow into it. In this case I would predict that it will not take long to get used to. We seem to have Xen on the mind lately. After awhile it really doesn’t matter what the name is because it is only a name. The products have their own personality and the name is just a tag when you talk about it. Initial acceptance is probably the most important thing.

Personally I remember thinking that “Presentation Server” was a bit stuffy when the name was last changed. That wore off pretty fast. It was okay once everyone started calling it CPS.

Welcome to the brave new world of XenApp!


Live near Brisbane, Australia. Software developer currently focused on iOS and Android. Avid Google Local Guide

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Posted in Citrix News, Xen, XenApp, XenDesktop
5 comments on “Introducing XenApp
  1. Aaron says:

    Perhaps people might finally stop calling a Presentation Server/XenApp server a “Citrix” server. One can only hope.

    You missed a name change in there. PS 3.0 was called MetaFrame Presentation Server 3.0. The MetaFrame was dropped with version 4.0. I’m not sure of the dates though.

  2. Tomahawk says:

    I can’t figure out why they changed it to XenApp. It really is an odd name, but then again so was Wii and look how that took off. But really this name changing is really getting crazy and out of hand Many of the internal code of Citrix still refers back to metaframe, even though they dropped the name over three years ago. I can’t imagine there being a complete code rewrite to address the al the references to PS or metaframe, and really this whole thing confuses the consumers, which is the worst part. Just look at this thread and you’ll see at just how much of a sad joke that this is:

  3. My question is more towards the client. Will it be renamed from Citrix Program Neighborhood to Xen Neighborhood? Jeff, maybe you could shed some light on this.

  4. Bill says:

    At iForum in Las Vegas they talked about something new called an “App Receiver” that would have “plug-ins” for their own products as well as third party products. They also talked about how apps should be delivered into the normal places users are used to getting them, not some special neighborhood. My guess is that we’ll see a Citrix AppReciever with the ICA client as a plug-in and apps delivered into the Start Menu by default.

  5. Patrik Johansson says:


    Looks good , a cool feature would be to have virtual applications withe the possibility to move users from one server to another seamless. Hope it will be reality casuse of all critical apps out there. /Patrik

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