Synergy 2011: Q&A on opening up the cloud

Obviously is a open community that we support so we both use elements of that code as well as donate, just like other companies do - you build some code you think other people can take advantage of it so that code is put back into the community. That is something we continue to do.

Do we have some secret sauce that we use that we might not give away? Absolutely. But we believe in open source, we work with the Xen engine, we donate code back and I think with the new OpenStack is another example, where we will take advantage of some of the standards OpenStack is putting out there as well as contribute to those standards and contribute to that base.

Given your longstanding partnership with Microsoft, some have suggested you've focused too much on catering to Windows users. Are the moves to offer Android and Mac capabilities a determined step away from that?

Certainly Microsoft has been a really important partner for us, but if you've seen over the past couple of years, the things we've done with Receiver and working on all kinds of different devices, if you see that we have the Google Chromebook and the Apple tablets, we really believe in a multi-vendor environment.

I wouldn't say this is a move a way from Microsoft as much as it is a response to the realities of today's customer environment where the platform is a personal choice and we want to enable IT to say yes to whatever platform their user comes in with.

It's about the responsiveness to the customer demands and the consumerisation.

You've focused heavily on enabling tablets within organisations is the uptake really there in business? Is it different in the US?

We think people are going to go forward using three screens and a cloud. You're going to have your smartphone, your tablet and your laptop. I think that world is becoming more and more of a reality.

Particularly because some tablets are so inexpensive, it's reasonable to have all three.

The US kind of leads in adoption and then it kind of trickles out through Europe and then Japan and Asia, Australia and so on.

The Chromebook came up during the keynotes. Do you not worry, given Google's clout with cloud, it will start to tread on Citrix ground more?

We'll continue to partner and be mindful.

Google has a great selection of apps they have office kinds of apps for word processing and calculations. I would bet you my next paycheck Google is never going to create an SAP equivalent.

So, in that Google, if they really want the Chromebooks and Chrome OS to be a viable option for an enterprise, they've got to bring to the enterprise a way for them to not only use their Google apps, but all the other business apps that they have.

It's not just SAP and Oracle and those kinds of things many organisations custom write their applications. So those will never be delivered as a Google app.

Using Citrix and what we saw today with the Chromebook, that's the only way those kinds of apps could be delivered. I don't think it's competitive, I think it's a nice handshake to help better serve the customer.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.