Citrix is working on a client for the iPhone (the true story)

At the Application Delivery Conference 2008 in Melbourne Citrix showed on stage an Apple iPhone running a Microsoft Windows XP remote desktop.

There’s no need to comment all the press articles written by those journalists not aware of virtualization. But the technical implementation of the demo (below) and how it relates to what Citrix is really doing on the iPhone still needs some clarifications.

What Citrix really showed on stage is an iPhone with Mobile Safari, which embeds the ICA client, remoting a virtual desktop. And this is nothing breakthrough.

Nonetheless the demo hints at something more, a really innovative project that will come in the future: a Citrix client offered as a native iPhone application through the AppStore.

It’s unknown if this client will connect to a XenDesktop infrastructure or just to a XenApp farm.
It’s unknown how Citrix will manage the lack of keyboard.
There is no eta for this project and the company didn’t even said if it will officially support it.
And we don’t even know if it will be distributed for free on the AppStore or not.

So at the moment this is just a research project, brought on stage to demonstrate the Citrix tireless research for what they call the Nirvana device.

One thing is for sure: the Citrix effort in this area demonstrates how mature the time is becoming for the mobile virtualization.