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Citrix To Bring Millions of Windows Apps To iPhone 172

Anonymous writes "Citrix is putting out word that it's developing an iPhone receiver that could make 'millions' of Windows applications work on Apple's handset. (Something Citrix is calling 'Project Braeburn.') Aside from Flash and a few other apps, is anyone pining for Windows-based apps on the iPhone? (Exchange on the iPhone seems to be successful, but so does Apple's App store, which has done pretty well without Windows.)"
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Citrix To Bring Millions of Windows Apps To iPhone

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  • by smittyoneeach ( 243267 ) * on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @09:59AM (#26210957) Homepage Journal
    Citrix is near!
    Performance: oh dear.
    Sooner, the service
    From suds of yesteryear.
    Burma Shave
    • And if you really drink much beer
      you rime service with yesteryear.

      • No love for the sooner/service/suds alliteration?
        So much for "building dramatic tension" ;)
  • What, you're not pining for a bit of Age of Empires on the train home?

    To be honest, I can't see the point of running desktop applications on your phone. Anyone else?

    • by Ogive17 ( 691899 )
      Why not? It's a handheld computer that already has thousands of applications (I'm guessing, never looked). If I'm going to pay that much for one I'll want the option to use it as entertainment. I'd probably put the original Command & Conquor on it for long trips on a plane or in a car.
      • Have you ever tried playing any RTS using a small screen and no keyboard? It may sound like a "neat" idea but you'll have to put the computer on easy and suffer with the handicap of not being able to do anything fast or efficient. When I first got my Tablet PC, I was psyched to be able to play RTS and other dexterity limit games with a pen (or almost touch screen) and I have to tell you, it's not as cool as it sounds. Even games like MOO2 and GalCiv that are turn based so you can take your time were less

        • Have you ever tried playing any RTS using a small screen and no keyboard?

          Yes. I've got SimCity on my iPhone, and it's not bad.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        Well for that Wine could be ported more easily than C&C. Why? Wine already runs on OSX (which the iPhone supposedly runs). Releasing it bundled with C&C would be simple. C&C already runs perfectly in Wine, so there is nothing to fear.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          The iPhone uses an ARM processor. Unless you have a C&C binary compiled for Win32/ARM, WINE won't do jack shit for you.

        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          While there was an attempt back in the PowerPC days to add support for CPU emulation to WINE, by integrating the QEmu project, when Apple ditched the PowerPC series for ix86, that development effort pretty much ended.

          So at this stage, WINE needs to run on an ix86 CPU to work effectively. The iPhone uses an ARM CPU, which does not support the ix86 instruction set. Even if Apple allowed WINE to run on an iPhone (currently it would violate the rules unless bundled with a closed app that works as the entry p

          • by Hal_Porter ( 817932 ) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @04:10PM (#26215481)

            An ARM would choke emulating an x86 anyway. In fact even if you recompiled the x86 binaries to run on Arm it would still suck because desktop class x86s like Core2 have a higher clock rate, are out of order, have big caches and fast SDRAM.

            An iPhone apparently has a ARM1176JZF [engadget.com] running at ~400Mhz [macosrumors.com]. The fastest ARM a QCT Snapdragon ARM at 1Ghz [qctconnect.com] will most likely be slower than the slowest netbook class x86, an Intel Atom at 1.6Ghz.

            Of course ARM uses much less power, but for single thread integer performance ARM is in a completely different class from x86.

  • Once again... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dr_strang ( 32799 ) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @09:59AM (#26210963)

    An answer to a question nobody was asking.

    • Exactly. Who wants to pay to run desktop apps over a network to their phone? Build a real client for the phone to save on network costs.

      On top of that, most Windows apps aren't suited at all to be used with (relatively) low resolution screens and an all-touch interface. Even todays best smartphones still aren't the sort of thing you'd want to do serious work on for any length of time. Email and calendar work fine, but editing spreadsheets, word processing and presentation work is best left to a device with

      • by Nursie ( 632944 )


        You can already get VNC clients, and there's bound to be a build of rdesktop. Of course these may only be available on jailbroken phones...

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      You aren't listening correctly - this will be of great use to many many businesses out there with a Windows infrastructure.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        The iphone screen is insanely tiny for a Windows application. I'm sure there are some really useful Windows applications that fit nicely in 480x320 pixels but I can't think of any.

        The best I can think of it is that a Windows-based company can create new Windows applications for the iphone more easily than they could if they had to switch to a different infrastructure. But running existing desktop Windows applications on a device so different from a PC looks weird unless it's marketing-speech.

        • The iphone screen is insanely tiny for a Windows application. I'm sure there are some really useful Windows applications that fit nicely in 480x320 pixels but I can't think of any.

          Chat clients, a good part of the common property dialog, a view of solitaire with a few cards on screen at one time, a 5 pixel view of the web after adding the yahoo toolbar to IE...

        • They could run it in a virtual desktop that can be zoomed in and out like the iPhone web browser. That would make most apps at least somewhat usable probably.

    • Well, this is actually an answer to a question asked by the Fortune 500. Even if they intended to write native clients for their custom apps, this sort of things gives them flexibility.
    • But there are millions of Windows users out there who would like some compatibility with their desktop apps. Despite my Slashdot ID, I was a Macophile who had to switch to Windows years ago for work compatibility purposes (long before there was a Boot Camp). I'd love to be able to use various Windows programs on an iPhone. In fact, if I could, it would make me more likely to buy one. There are a lot of Windows programs they just don't make for Apple.

      Slashdot is not the universe, people. There are lots o
      • Care to name a few?
        • Not a few people who use Windows, ha ha.

          Every book-specific exam-writing program for classes I teach.
          TMPGEnc 4.0 XPress
          Lots of other Windows software that I get at a "discounted" rate from work. ;-)

          Even if there were Mac analogues for all of these, expecting people to switch OSs just because you want them to is unrealistic. People want to use what they know.
          • I don't expect anyone to switch OSes (even though being able to run Windows on a Mac pretty much makes that decision a no-brainer for me), but I was just curious to see what kind of software is so important to other people, that they have to have Windows. I'm a tech writer. 50% of my time is doing creative design stuff using the standard Adobe stuff but the other half is using Adobe Robo-help (no Mac version). The difference in work flow is so much better in favor of OSX that is "almost" worth going with
  • Why not? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by vvaduva ( 859950 ) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @09:59AM (#26210965)

    Why not? This is an exploration of business opportunities, so more power to them!

  • by terrabit ( 50647 )

    Isn't VNC already available on the iPhone? Atleast jail broken iPhones?

    • by jmauro ( 32523 )

      It's actually a free app in the regular iTunes App store. No jail break needed. It however kind of sucks since it's really difficult to control a desktop that expect you to have a seperate full keyboard and a seperate mouse.

    • by Samah ( 729132 )

      Isn't VNC already available on the iPhone? Atleast jail broken iPhones?

      Comparing ICA to VNC is like comparing Word/OO.o to WordPad. ie. A lot more features and complexity than most people will use, but those features are there when you need them, and any new features and/or bugfixes will be released periodically rather than being a fixed standard. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with VNC (it's a clean protocol which is widely supported, and I use it myself), but for the markets that Citrix are targeting, ICA is possibly a better choice.
      My $0.02.

      Disclaimer: If you were

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The first ever virus for the iPhone...
    ...and it comes with an official announcement.

    O tempora! O mores!

  • Umm... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @10:08AM (#26211025) Journal
    Citrix is thinking of releasing an ICA client for the iPhone. Wow. That is really "Bring[ing] millions of Windows apps to iPhone." Right. ICA is arguably superior(and certainly more common in business type scenarios); but VNC on iPhone is old news and does pretty much the same thing. Hell, it looks like an RDP client is also available.

    I'm sure that a lot of people will find this quite useful(I know the iPhone-carrying; but otherwise MS-headed network manager at my workplace will be all over it); but this is neither surprising nor especially interesting, and far from groundbreaking. Citrix will(assuming they manage to beat x11 support out the door) be the third graphical remote protocol to make it to the iPhone. Useful for people in environments that use citrix; but hardly novel.
    • Re:Umm... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by 222 ( 551054 ) <stormseeker@NOspaM.gmail.com> on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @11:08AM (#26211567) Homepage
      I hate to sound like an ass, but there is a massive difference between ICA and X11 or VNC as far as real world implementations go. Aside from the overwhelming technical differences, real world usage scenarios are also vastly different. I suppose I'm biased, as we're a Citrix shop here, but one of these things is definitely not like the other, rightly so. X11 is flexible enough to be a remote display protocol, and VNC simply does what it set out to; not bad in either case.

      Published applications, server clusters, connection management... I could go on for a good while regarding the merits of Citrix.
      • Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against Citrix, we use it here as well, and its capabilities are quite sophisticated. I'm just annoyed that "Citrix announces ICA client for iPhone" somehow became "Citrix to bring Millions of Windows Apps to iPhone." Nothing wrong with an ICA client(except the ones on HP's WinCE based thin clients, which take 30 seconds to connect on an 800MHz machine for no good reason); but the summary's puffery was making it sound as though this sort of thing had never been done before
        • by 222 ( 551054 )
          I'll agree that this isn't some sort of revolution in whats accessible via cell phones, but it is packaged in a very pretty box from an IT perspective :- )
    • Don't be bitter! There's an SSH client from the App Store you can use!

  • RDP (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jshackney ( 99735 ) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @10:09AM (#26211033) Homepage

    The only thing Windows-related I've ever needed on my phone was RDP. And on my Fuze (Windows Mobile 6), it crashes every time I use it. I'm starting to wonder if the iPhone would have been a better choice.

    • never had any problems with rdp on my htc himalaya, htc universal or toshiba e800 (windows mobile 2003, 2003se, 5, 6 and 6.1).
      using rdp on my universal is especially fun because of the vga screen and full keyboard - firefox through rdp is faster than opera mobile.

    • I have the Fuze, and I have zero issues with RDP crashing. Other apps seem to go through crash fests (Opera, activesync, Solitaire for !@%@#%@ sake) but not RDP. I am using RDP to an XP machine with a dedicated internet address and a a hole poked through the corp firewall.

      That said, moving to AT&Ts network from Verizon leaves a lot to be desired. More bars in more places my ass. That's probably the source of many crashes.


      • They refer to how many more bars you will seek out to drink after dealing with it ;)

        I've also had no problems with the RDP on the Fuze, and at 640x480 I can at least see what I'm working on. About the only annoying thing is that for some reason world of warcraft won't let you run via an RDP session via my home computer (not that I'd use it for actual playing the game, but it would suffice for auction house and doing cooldowns and stuff). I haven't tried VNC for this yet.

        But seriously everything else I

      • by nasch ( 598556 )

        More bars in more places my ass.

        Well there's your problem. The bars aren't supposed to go in your ass.

  • Do we want this? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Midnight Thunder ( 17205 ) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @10:12AM (#26211061) Homepage Journal

    When I hear this I worry about seeing Windows CE style applications being pushed to the iPhone. Then again I imagine if the applications don't fit the user experience guidelines Apple will simply prevent them from coming to the store.

    • by 0xdeadbeef ( 28836 ) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @10:26AM (#26211187) Homepage Journal

      Why would that worry anyone? And what is wrong with Windows CE applications?

      • And what is wrong with Windows CE applications?

        They typically come without glossy interface and Jobs' blessing.

    • by Locutus ( 9039 )

      it's all a marketing ploy to reduce demand for the product by showing a supposed flaw in the platform. Who do you think benefits from such an idiotic concept as having Windows desktop applications running on the iPhone?

      There's more to marketing than just fooling the public into thinking your product it good. Sometimes, you have to swing them over to thinking that the dominant product is failing somewhere or in some way.

      And if you look around, you'll probably see what I've seen with hardcore Windows fanboyz

  • by whoisearth ( 1002000 ) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @10:17AM (#26211105) Homepage Journal
    Working in IT, one of the problems I have with my blackberry is that the ability to RDP into my work enviroment is not possible on a free scale, therefore work is not persuing the opportunity. With citrix available on an iPhone, all of a sudden, my ability to work has increased exponentially. Now if it works properly, that's a whole other story... And I can just see our remote desktop support going "You're logging into work how now?". "You think we're going to support this?"
    • by cbelt3 ( 741637 ) <cbelt@yahooPERIOD.com minus punct> on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @10:33AM (#26211247) Journal

      Bingo. While the technorati here at /. may look down their noses at it, there are a gazillion of us corporate types using Citrix (or, as we like to call it, Sh*trix), which is empirically a terminal application. So think of a terminal on the iPhone that lets you get into your entire corporate application empire.

      MAJOR Business killer application. Instantly, the iPhone can become the defacto business palmtop environment. Sure, businesses will need to scale applications dependent on 1024x768 or higher screen sizes, or get used to virtual screens (imagine a virtual screen using the tilt sensors for screen panning ? Cool !).

      Apple is gonna kill the Crackberry if this works.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by 222 ( 551054 )
        This will no doubt help Apple, but there has been an ICA client for Blackberry phones for awhile now. I've used it and while screensize is a PITA, its more or less functional and great in a pinch. As for us terminal geeks, MidpSSH is an order of magnitude more awesome. It proxies through the BES server eliminating the need for a VPN client, and allows me to access any Cisco or Unix server on my network, regardless of location.

        Its seriously the coolest thing ever, and best of all free.

        http://www.xk72.com [xk72.com]
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        MAJOR Business killer application.

        Why is your application killing businesses?

      • by Tom ( 822 )

        MAJOR Business killer application

        Actually, I think of it more the same way I think about powerpoint: MAJOR productivity killer.

        Almost everything you use on your desktop PC was designed for a keyboard/mouse interface at 1024x768 or up. Maybe with a check on whether it's halfway useable at 800x600, if you are lucky.

        The iPhone has a 320x480 screen and touchscreen interface. Good luck using any of your office applications on it.

        Sure, every PHB will do it anyways, not because it's really good for anything, but because it makes him look "importa

    • there's an RDP client for the iphone for $15 (last I checked). I have no use for it, but I almost bought it anyway just to see how well it worked (yes, I'm a sucker like that).
      • by uptownguy ( 215934 ) <UptownGuyEmail@gmail.com> on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @11:27AM (#26211739)

        The program is called WinAdmin -- it is $11.99 -- and I bought it on my second day of owning an iPhone. Works great.

        There is a lot of FUD out there about how the BlackBerry and WM phones are "business" phones ... but having owned 10+ models of PDAs/Smartphones over the last 10 years, I can honestly say that the iPhone is the best business phone I've ever owned. You just need to know what apps to download...

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by WiiVault ( 1039946 )
          I will second this. The iPhone pre App Store was a joke for the power user/ biz type. Not anymore, with FTP clients, terminal apps, VNC, VOIP, and Exchange support, the iPhone has become at least as good as the best biz phone, with the possible exception of its delicate hardware and inclusion of camera. The apps make any phone and right now Apple has a serious lead.
        • There is a free RDP client which works well for me, simply called "RDP Lite". The Lite version seems stuck in 256 color mode which is fine, allows 2 saved connection. Where as the Pro paid version probably allows more colors/connections. I do prefer WinAdmin over it though.
    • by mini me ( 132455 )

      There has been at least one RDP client for sale in the App Store since it opened. Your potential of ability to work increased exponentially months ago. What have you been waiting for?

  • Already done (Score:2, Informative)

    by jdc180 ( 125863 )

    Millions of windows apps are already available for the iphone.. it's called VNC.

  • I have enough issues with our app on Citrix as it is, never mind throwing in an iPhone client into the mix. :(. I hope they just keep using blackberries.

  • There may be "millions" of Windows apps, but how many are worth a damn? There have always been far less apps available for the Mac, but at the same time, more good ones.
    • There may be "millions" of Windows apps, but how many are worth a damn?

      More than enough to matter. Why do you think Apple's PR made so much noise about Boot Camp?

  • Feedback Loop (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TomSawyer ( 100674 ) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @10:29AM (#26211217) Homepage

    Just a little over a week ago my boss brought this up:

    Bullet #6 is probably the biggest complaint I hear from all PDA users.

    He was referring to an article that he forgot to link to and I got the URL from an IM. It seems some "journalist" had an article due and the iPhone is hot and top 10 lists are easy to write. The #6 slot was dedicated to the enterprise shortfall of the iPhone by not including native support for editing MS-Office documents.

    My boss doesn't even have a PDA. However, the other executives with PDAs have bought into the marketing line that needing to edit office documents on your phone is a sign of importance. That strokes their ego a lot more than pointing out it's more a sign of the need for a collaboration platform that can operate without duplicating and shuttling large binaries.

    • by Locutus ( 9039 )

      make the public need desktop applications on the PDA and the PDA fails. Wow, where have I seen and heard that one before.

      Seems like yet another sign that some people in management didn't get there because of their mental skills.

      And isn't there Google Docs for the iPhone or something like that if the idiots ever actually want to attempt full word processing on a PDA?


    • by fermion ( 181285 )
      In a way this is simply buzzword compliance. In todays world, the computer with the most usb ports, the fastest processor, the biggest hard drive wins, even if the overall machine is junk. In cars, this used to require maximum number of cup holders, even though it is understanding that such things are dangerous enough to be banned in parts of the EU.

      But it is also a lack of understanding of the problem. Many years ago I began looking for ways to run what would become MS Office on a PDA type thing. The

  • Er...no. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @10:47AM (#26211371)

    This is NOT "bringing Windows apps to the iPhone."

    This is allowing the iPhone to connect to a Citrix server (which your company needs to buy and set up). You can then run apps directly on the server, or open a remote desktop session to a PC on the network.

    The iPhone isn't RUNNING anything other than the client. And unless you run your own Citrix server (signs point to "no"), you don't have access to "millions of apps" except in theory. You have access to the apps that your company decides to put on the server, or (IF they decide to enable remote desktop) the apps they let you install on your company PC.

    In other words, you're not playing Fallout on this.

    And, since TFP seems unclear about this--no, this will NOT get you Flash in your web browser. And, no, Flash is NOT a Windows app.

  • ... so Citrix was hired to bring desktop Windows apps to the iPhone. Ho ho ho and a ha ha ah.


  • OWe have two sets of responses here so far. One camp says "why on earth would I want to do this?" The other camp says "it's already here, old news, move along, why do I need to know?" I love the /. naysayers and whiners, entertaining even while they completely fail to provide any insight on this.

    To answer the first camp, #1 if VNC did it, obviously there is demand. The demand doesn't come from geeks using a remote program to administer their servers, the real demand comes from running windows apps on a

  • The mindset of some people is truly amazing. Quote, "I find no use for it so why would anyone else?" Really brilliant. It's right up there with "640K is all they will need."

    The market for this type of app is the corporate market. This is an area of great growth. More and more corporations are moving to mobile computing devices, i.e. hand helds like the iPhone. If you can't connect, talk to, run Windows apps then you may was well toss your iPhone in the dust bin because you have basically conceded t
  • by sootman ( 158191 ) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @11:29AM (#26211751) Homepage Journal

    Seriously. Not the crappy, ugly version that comes with Vista, not one of the so-so clones, just the good old, highly-addictive, always-winnable*, 8-bit-graphics version that came with Windows from 95 through XP.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FreeCell_(Windows) [wikipedia.org]

    * according to Wikipedia, there is one deal in the Windows version that is unsolvable.

  • Cute. (Score:3, Informative)

    by sootman ( 158191 ) on Tuesday December 23, 2008 @11:34AM (#26211797) Homepage Journal

    For those who don't eat fruit, Braeburn is a kind of apple. [wikipedia.org]

  • instead of remaining stuck in the Windows past.
  • I've got a Windows phone - and there are nowhere near a million apps that run on it. A few thousand, maybe.

    And I'm not even going to think about the speed of emulating the x86 instruction set on a slow cellphone processor.
  • Transgaming's Cider libraries run on the iPhone now. That's how Puzzle Quest is being released on the iPhone...
  • I can't imagine anything more painful than running a Windows application designed for full-screen PCs over the air on an iphone where the keyboard is going to take up a big portion of the screen everytime I do text-entry. I've used VNC to get into my home computer to look up a few things, and it is slow and painful to do anything really productive. I could see this being useful for a system admin who gets a page and wants to Citrix in to look at what the problem might be or to bounce a server, but I sincere
  • The need it to convert over the two most commonly used Windows applicateions.

    solitare and minesweeper.

  • Are there "millions" of Windows apps? What subset of them work on a 320X480 screen without a keyboard?

    From a geeky perspective, I'd be interested in seeing the citrix client running on an iphone. But I have to ask what problem we're trying to solve. Do users really need this, or would the majority be satisfied with a native VNC client or Windows Terminal Server client? (I know I would.) The iphone already supports the Cisco VPN client. (Yay.)

  • I think this is a good move for iPhone users and Citrix...

    However do people realize you can already do this on a Windows Mobile(PocketPC) phone?

    Not only are there are ton of applications for Windows Mobile, but you can use the RDP features available since before 2004 to remote into your desktop computer or a server and run applications or access your entire desktop - on a 3G, 4G, or even a 2G connection.

    I hope this doesn't turn into another 'innovation' iPhone brought to users after people were using it for

  • With a citrix client it is possible to run applications without the control of Apple. Maybe Microsoft is behind this, since they have such a big position in Citrix.
  • that could make 'millions' of Windows applications work on Apple's handset

    For a Windows application to work on the iPhone, wouldn't the application have to work in the first place? It would be pretty amazing to see an application working on an iPhone when they can't usually manage that under Windows.

I've got a bad feeling about this.