RES Software confirmed today that it is has signed an agreement with Citrix to license RES’ reverse seamless Windows technology.
Citrix confirmed that while it has a license to use RES Virtual Desktop Extender (VDX) it does not intend to integrate RES’ VDX solution into it’s own products. Instead it has taken out the license to allow it to implement its own reverse seamless solution without running afoul of the patent that RES holds on reverse seamless Windows.
Citrix’s license agreement with RES does not limit it to using reverse seamless on a single product or technology. So it is quite possible that Citrix will incorporate support for reverse seamless Windows in both XenApp and XenDesktop, and following the announcement of the Kaviza acquisition, support for reverse seamless could well appear in VDI in a Box at some point in the future. Although as yet, Citrix has not indicated if support for reverse seamless would be offered as either a standard feature across all platforms, or if it would only be offered as a premium feature only available as part of Platinum Edition XenApp and/or XenDesktop.
RES has confirmed that the reverse seamless licensing agreement is not exclusive to Citrix, which will allow rivals Quest and VMware to license reverse seamless if they wanted to do so. RES will also continue to sell VDX as a standalone enhancement to RDP. RES and Quest had previously discussed the possibility Quest licensing VDX, but at the time Quest had indicated that it was not interested citing lack of of demand. Now with Citrix licensing VDX, Quest may have to reconsider or fall behind in the feature race. One possibility for Quest is that if Citrix is following a path to develop its own reverse seamless implementation, it is entirely possible that Quest could gain a short-term advantage over Citrix by being first to market if it chose to license VDX and implement the current RES solution unmodified.
At the same time it is unlikely that reverse seamless Windows will be available to VMware customers in the short term. Teradici has confirmed that it would be possible to adopt the same path that Citrix has done in licensing VDX as protection against the RES patent, but it would take time. While it is possible, VMware would have to emulate the Citrix approach and develop its own implementation if it wanted to provide reverse seamless support for PCoIP connections.
One other possibility that desktop service providers should take into consideration is the possibility of integrating reverse seamless Windows into their protocol stacks. In many respects support for reverse seamless could ease the transition to a full DaaS model. It could be here more than anywhere else that reverse seamless brings the biggest opportunity.