Citrix announces secure access, password products

New York — Citrix Systems Inc. today announced new products it hopes will help widen its role in the enterprise.

The Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based vendor announced a new release of its key product with Citrix MetaFrame Access Suite as well as Citrix MetaFrame Secure Access, Citrix MetaFrame XP Presentation Server Feature Release 3, Citrix MetaFrame Conferencing Manager, a collaboration tool, and Citrix MetaFrame Password Manager, a single sign-on application.

The company’s MetaFrame product provides companies with a way to connect to applications, which is critical as computing environments continue to grow in complexity, said David Jones, the senior VP of corporate development for Citrix in Fort Lauderdale.

“As a new wave of computing happens, it just gets piled on to what existed before; it doesn’t replace it.”

The new products will build on Citrix’s exiting capabilities in providing access and business continuity, said David Wright, the Mississauga, Ont.-based area vice-president for Canada at Citrix.

The new release will be Microsoft Windows Server 2003 compliant.

Citrix’s greatest challenge in the past has been that it was sold on a true thin client model, which meant that customers had to change the way they operate, said Steve Kleynhans, a vice-president at analyst firm Meta Group in Toronto.

“It will always limit them,” he said, adding that Citrix has a lot of pieces that help clean up the user experience.

Citrix’s main competitor is Microsoft’s Windows Terminal Server, which will be on its third release with the upcoming launch of Windows Server 2003.

“A lot of customers are saying, do we still have to pay for Citrix?” Kleynhans said. The answer will probably be yes. Though Terminal Server does compete with MetaFrame, it’s not necessarily Microsoft’s goal to take over Citrix’s space, he said.

“I don’t think Microsoft has a goal when it comes to Citrix. They’re blissfully unaware.”

While Citrix keeps its eyes on Microsoft, it also tries to keep out of the line of fire, said Gene Phifer, the vice-president of research at analyst group Gartner Inc. in Plano, Tex.

“That’s what you do when you fight the likes of Microsoft,” he said.

Secure Access Manager will be available at the end of the month, while Conferencing Manager and Password Manager will be available in Q2. For details, visit the company at