On January 11, 2017, AppSense announced the general availability of version 10.1 of its DesktopNow suite. Version 10.0 has been around since June of 2016, but the imminent arrival of Server 2016 led to a rapid movement toward 10.1, which is now viewed as the latest “stable” release. This seems to have been a one-off, in terms of the accelerated 10.1 release, and the schedule is now expected to revert back to the normal AppSense lifecycle. The standard lifecycle encompasses a major version release at the start of each calendar year (so the next major release would be in early 2018), with incremental minor updates and feature releases in between.
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After the end of a year, we often pause and reflect to celebrate our successes and to try and gain closure for our failures and tragedies. For many, 2016 has been a horrible year. I am not going to talk about politics, as that is far too contentious, but the world seems a little darker today than it did in January of 2016. We lost music icons like David Bowie, Prince, Rick Parfitt from Status Quo, and George Michael. Comedians Victoria Wood, Caroline Aherne, and Gene Wilder passed away. For the fantasy and science fiction geeks, we lost Alan Rickman (Harry Potter and Galaxy Quest), Carrie Fisher (Star Wars) on Christmas day, and Anton Yelchin (Star Trek) in June. The sporting world lost Muhammad Ali, Arnold Palmer, Johann Cruyff (the founder of Sexy Football—the proper sort with a round ball that is kicked by a foot). We also lost John Glenn, former US senator and astronaut. In the technology world, we lost Intel founding father Andy Grove, email inventor Ray Tomlinson, and AOL co-founder Jim Kimsey.
The acquisitions have started early in 2017. It is only the fourth of January and we have our first major deal. The private investment firm Clearlake Capital has just shelled out a cool $1.1 billion for LANDESK.
In the past few years, LANDESK carved out a niche in the user virtualization market space, acquiring its major competitor and market leader AppSense in 2016, Xtraction Solutions in 2015, Naurtech and LetMoblie in 2014, and Shavlik from VMware in 2013.
Clearlake Capital has agreed to acquire LANDESK for a believed $1.1 billion in cash from Thoma Bravo and will be merging the company with its other UEM asset, HEAT Software USA.
The newly merged company, which is yet to be named, will be led by LANDESK CEO Steve Daly and headquartered in Utah. Current HEAT CEO and Clearlake Operating Advisor John Ferron will serve as the executive chairman of the newly merged company’s board.
On Monday, LANDESK announced its plans to acquire AppSense. LANDESK is a well-known, stable technology company based in Utah, whereas AppSense has had several tumultuous years as it has sought to define its niche within the virtualization market. This pairing appears to be a good move for both organizations, with AppSense likely being the greater beneficiary.
Like waking up from a scene in a night’s dream where you were on a lovely walk, to find yourself stood outside of your now locked hotel room wearing nothing but your underwear, NxTop customers and resellers may well view the purchase of Virtual Computer by Citrix with a chill, heart-quickening, “right then, what next”?
Virtual Computer’s free offerings are no longer available, NxTop Enterprise edition gets a modest per user price increase. Support is still available. It is likely any road-map will take a wobble. What is now XenClient Enterprise is one of three client hypervisor versions that are offered by the application delivery leader who was, up until Friday, ‘the investing competition’.
Virtual Computer was a leader in the Type I client hypervisor delivery platform: although to be fair, it wasn’t a big race card. In comparison to its cousin XenClient, at technical level it had better instance management options, a pre-packaged virtual machine instance with Chrome and Citrix Receiver, far wider hardware support and integrated systray tools within Microsoft Windows VMs. The latest 4.0.6 released earlier this month, continued a steady improvement in management options for configurations. More importantly for the enterprise – Virtual Computer had the better links than the with hardware manufacturers with a strategy to integrate new hardware releases in weeks rather than months. Perhaps most interestingly, NxTop was highlighted as an solution that strongly aligned with Intel’s Intelligent Desktop Virtualisation (IDV).
VDI too expensive? VDI too remote? Have you considered IDV – manage centrally, run locally?
Yet despite innovation awards, the client-side hypervisor leader found it hard to gain momentum. Talking to CIO/CTOs the technology and you come across a number of obstacles in new accounts. Where does it fit with a BYOD strategy? What advantage does it offer over solutions such as LANDesk, Dells’ KACE or Microsoft’s SCCM? Will it run on a Mac? How does it deliver to my tablet?
The integration time for XenClient Enterprise likely to be 12-18 months. If you’re running NxTop now, how will that impact your roll-out or continued delivery? If you dismissed XenClient and went XenDesktop – should you stop? How could Citrix accommodate a product that can be pitched directly against XenDesktop and VDI-in-a-box? Why and will Citrix embrace IDV?