Citrix to extend desktop virtualization to the iPhone

Citrix plans to deliver desktop virtualization to the iPhone and other mobile devices next year, a company official said Wednesday.

Users of both PCs and Macs will be able to access the same desktop session on their iPhones as they would on their desktop computers, and move seamlessly between the two, says John Humphreys, senior director of product marketing for Citrix.

The capability will be part of Citrix App Receiver and become available in 2009, he said. The product is a software client that would be installed on both a user's computer and mobile phone, and work in conjunction either with Citrix's desktop virtualization software or its XenApp Windows application delivery system. iPhone users would log on to a central server in order to access their desktops and applications.

Humphreys referenced Gartner research that says half of business travelers will not take traditional laptops on the road with them by the end of 2010.

Besides the iPhone, Citrix is not yet saying which smartphones will be supported.

While desktop virtualization has been around several years, Humphreys says Citrix believes it is ready to gain widespread adoption.

"The industry has talked about it for years," Humphreys said. "The question is what's different this time around."

Advances in the software are now allowing delivery of full-featured, customizable desktop images at lower prices than regular PCs, and with equivalent performance, he said.

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