Citrix picks up Virtual Computer for mobile device push


Citrix has confirmed its acquisition of desktop virtualisation vendor Virtual Computer, several days after rumours linking the two firms appeared online.

The acquisition was announced at Citrix Synergy in San Francisco, but the terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Citrix has built an incredible track record of adding teams like Virtual Computer into the family

Virtual Computer's flagship product is a PC management platform called NxTop. It is used to separate the device's hardware, operating system, applications and user data so that they can be monitored and controlled independently without the need for a network connection.

Rumours about tie-up between the two firms began circulating on social networking site Twitter earlier this week.

However, both parties refused to confirm or deny the story when approached for comment by IT Pro.

In a statement, the virtualisation giant revealed that NxTop will be merged with Citrix's XenClient hypervisor to create a new enterprise version of the product aimed at laptop users. It is expected to ship later this year.

In a blog post, Mitch Parker, group vice president and general manager of client virtualisation at Citrix, said the deal would make it easier for companies to rollout virtual desktops to mobile workers.

"Citrix has built an incredible track record of adding teams like Virtual Computer into the family - teams that fit the culture, share a vision, and quickly become stewards of the Citrix mission," he wrote.

"That can only happen when we [make] an effort to ensure we're adding the right team of people."

Speaking to IT Pro, Guise Bule, chief executive of hosted virtual desktop specialist TuCloud, said the merger should bolster Virtual Computer's appeal to enterprise firms.

"When Kaviza was bought by Citrix, we saw a massive jump in sales of VDI-in-a -Box, and the same should happen to Virtual Computer," he said.

"Enterprise companies won't buy kit without VMware, Microsoft or Citrix's name on the box, so this deal can only mean good news for Virtual Computer."

He claims the deal could also prompt VMware to make some acquisitions in the virtual desktop space.

"VMware will have to respond somehow, because Citrix now has two VDI clients and two client-side hypervisors," said Bule. "What does VMware have apart from View?"

Caroline Donnelly is the news and analysis editor of IT Pro and its sister site Cloud Pro, and covers general news, as well as the storage, security, public sector, cloud and Microsoft beats. Caroline has been a member of the IT Pro/Cloud Pro team since March 2012, and has previously worked as a reporter at several B2B publications, including UK channel magazine CRN, and as features writer for local weekly newspaper, The Slough and Windsor Observer. She studied Medical Biochemistry at the University of Leicester and completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Magazine Journalism at PMA Training in 2006.