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Citrix president outlines digital vision

And a plug in portable portal

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Citrix iForum First the news. Citrix has unveiled the WYSE Blazer - a "portal appliance" made in conjunction with WYSE and Nat Semi at its iForum conference in Orlando. This little box is your portable portal and will revolutionise the world (of course). Plug it in and away you go. More details as and when they arrive.

Now the keynote. Digital independence is the order of the day for cuddly gnome and Citrix president Mark Templeton. In his conference opening address the word "digital" was only beaten in repetition by "portal". With "dot Net" coming a close third.

But these three do sum up where this company hopes to head in the future. Drawing an obscure comparison with Lewis and Clark's mission to find a route from the Mississipi to the Atlantic Ocean, Templeton sees himself as a pioneer chartering the territory of the digital frontier.

Promising "new products, new services, new partnerships", Mark nevertheless falls back on three products announced about a month ago: NFuse, MetaFrame (update) and Extranet. By using the three of these, you will be able to port all your apps to all devices at all times.

If this whole vision sounds familiar, it should do. It's just the same as Microsoft "vision statement" for .Net (incidentally, is it only this reporter that thinks .Net was nicked wholesale from Novell's OneNet vision? And Novell had the cheek to actually provide products too). In fact, Mark went so far as to call MS' intention "profound".

"The most profound idea since its move from DOS to Windows", no less.

The question as to whether Microsoft actually needs Citrix anymore was answered two hours later by MS. Yes, it said because Citrix can do really nice stuff that we're not capable of at the moment (we paraphrase of course).

How does this all work? Through portals ("the most over-used word in the dictionary today" says Mark, before over-using it). It has signed up with six portal players, on top of Yahoo: Brio Technology, Viador, TopTier, Epicentric, Plumtree and iPlanet. Everything will be done over the Web and through portals. We got a demo of this at work later on, but we'll cover that in a story later.

And so, as a broad summary, Citrix is in a "really unique market position". Namely that it gets to ride Microsoft's back, hugging and kissing it all the way. Stay tuned for actual, real ASP technology! ®

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