You may have seen that we recently announced a new brand for our user experience called Citrix HDX technologies, (www.citrix.com/hdx). Before you relegate this announcement to being perhaps just a marketing initiative, I wanted to give a perspective from someone who has been involved for many years living at the “pointy end” of user experience.

First, an introduction; I’ve been with Citrix for 12 years and based in Sydney Australia, effectively at the end of a narrow, twisted connectivity pipe, with bandwidth and latency challenges for communication back to our Fort Lauderdale headquarters. While frustrating at times this has been the source of a variety of innovations as I challenged my team to make the experience as good as being local. For example, the architecture for remoting the keyboard in our XenApp product requires a character that is typed by a user to transit from the user device to the XenApp server and then back to the client to finally display on the screen. Well, you can imagine that if there is latency in your internet connection of say 300ms the delay from typing to displaying on the screen can be quite disconcerting. I challenged the team to come up with a solution that would echo the character first, make a guess as to the position on the screen and font and then later when the real character arrives back from the server to autocorrect if the prediction was wrong. Initially there was a “can’t be done” reaction, but on deeper thought a solution was derived and we have what is now know as Text Prediction in our XenApp product.

Let’s wind the clock forward to the present. Citrix has been the gold standard for many years in the application and desktop virtualization areas, but now we have competitors trying to encroach in on our market share. Some of these competitors are focussing on our early value proposition, the ICA protocol, as a way to show product parity with the market leader. The HDX initiative is one way that we can demonstrate to our customers and the market that we are much, much more than just ICA. Another way to think about this is that we’ve been talking about all of our end user features as a long list of separate items that are difficult for the customer and prospects to fully internalize. By providing the HDX categories, we are able to make the story coherent and easy to understand.

The diagram above shows in a simpler way, rather than long winded text descriptions how all the HDX categories work together.

So what’s next, well HDX is an evolving thing, there are lots of cool enhancements coming this year that will the raising the bar even further in the HDX 3D, HDX Plug-n-Play and HDX RealTime categories. Stay tuned…

I can even go a step further and make a prediction, while HDX is great in delivering the user experience, a further enhancement would be for the user to actually be able to measure their HDX experience in real time.

I’ll be in Synergy 2009 in Vegas participating in a number of the sessions as well as GeekSpeak Live. See you there!