Citrix kills Sydney research lab, vows to focus on 'core products'

Australian team that pioneered Xen Desktop have all left the building. Forever

Citrix has closed its research lab in Sydney, Australia. News of the closure appeared on Twitter, where missives like those below from lab staffers Jeff Muir and Donovan Hackett were spotted by virtualization whisperer Brian Madden.

El Reg asked Citrix why it closed the facility. A Citrix spokesperson said: "We made the decision to bring the CTO office into the business units. With CTOs sitting in the business units, they are tightly linked to the product strategy and customer needs. We scaled back the advanced products group in general as we refocussed on our core businesses."

Citrix's Sydney labs were an important part of the company's desktop virtualization software. Last year, the labs were instrumental in the delivery of Linux on Citrix's virtual desktops.

VMware today announced its end-user computing business now has a US$1.2bn annual run rate, much of it doubtless won from (possibly former) Citrix customers. That's new business for VMware. With Citrix focusing on its core, it may be worth asking where its new business will come from.

The Register understands about 30 people lost their jobs due to the closure. If Australia's skills shortage is as bad as is often reported, most shouldn't have too much trouble finding work in the near future. Citrix's Sydney labs can trace their lineage to the company's 1997 acquisition of DataPac, then its distributor down under. Citrix acquired the company to ease its entry into Australia and to get its hands on code DataPac had created for the WinFrame product line. ®

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