Citrix gives Mac client some love

Citrix is giving Mac users some attention with the Citrix Receiver for Mac clients, which Apple accepted into the Mac App Store.

Citrix has offered client software for the Mac platform for over a decade. And people have been complaining about Citrix's Mac client for just about as long. It has always been clear that the Mac was not the primary focus for Citrix, and given Mac's historic market share, who can blame it?

But the popularity of the Mac has exploded in recent years, and lots of companies --Citrix included -- have redoubled their efforts for the Mac.

To that end, Citrix has just released the latest version of its client software, now called "Citrix Receiver," for the Mac. This latest version was originally released way back in March and provides a "near-native" Mac experience (well, to the extent that a Windows app can feel native running on a Mac). The Receiver for Mac even integrates with the application folder, the dock and the Spotlight-based app launcher.

Of course, Mac fans know that Apple is continuing to lead the way when it comes to app distribution with the addition of the Mac App Store in the latest version of Mac OS X. (Am I showing my bias?) The Mac App Store is very similar to the iTunes App store, which has apps for iPhones and iPads, except the Mac App Store has full-blown desktop apps that run on Mac OS X.

A few weeks ago, Citrix announced that Apple has accepted the Citrix Receiver into the Mac App Store. The basic client software hasn't changed too much; it's just that users can now find it by typing "Citrix" into the App Store search box instead of having to navigate to --> downloads --> Mac, etc…

Of course, the Citrix Receiver doesn't actually do anything without a back-end Citrix XenApp or XenDesktop system to connect it to. So Citrix has also released a simple Web page that allows administrators to create one-click configuration URLs for Mac Receiver users. So instead of requiring users to go through all the options to specify their store location, Access Gateway address, domain login type, etc., users can just click on the generated URL to launch and add the connection automatically.

At the end of the day, we all know that enterprises are still focused on Windows. But by addressing the Mac community, whether for home workers or "bring your own PC" (BYOPC) scenarios, Citrix is making sure it's as easy as possible for everyone to get its apps -- and, it hopes, for as many people to want to use Citrix as possible.

Read more from Brian Madden

Brian Madden is an independent industry analyst and blogger, known throughout the world as an opinionated, supertechnical desktop virtualization expert. He has written several books and more than 1,000 articles about desktop and application virtualization. Madden's blog,, receives millions of visitors per year and is a leading source for conversation, debate and discourse about the application and desktop virtualization industry. He is also the creator of BriForum, the premier independent application delivery technical conference.

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