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Microsoft, Citrix Partnership Navigates Turbulent Waters

Microsoft and Citrix Systems held a virtual lovefest at the latter’s iForum event in Las Vegas this week to persuade attendees that their 15-year partnership will continue to bear fruit, not sour grapes.

At the annual conference, Citrix rolled out its first x64 version of Citrix Presentation Server for Windows Server 2003 x64 and said it will ship an upgrade of Presentation Server, code-named Ohio, for Windows Server 2003 R2 in 2006.

That will offer significant value to customers and partners, enabling them to publish and extend client/server applications over the extranet to outside partners and suppliers, one Citrix executive said at the conference on Tuesday. The new federation services in R2, due to ship in December, offer single sign-on for Web applications only.

On stage, the two companies demonstrated integration between early Presentation Server code and the Microsoft Office 12 beta. And in the iForum tech lab, they also showed off a Citrix ICA client running on Microsoft's Windows Vista beta desktop code.

Despite Microsoft's stated intent to integrate into Longhorn Server technologies that mimic two of Presentation Server's most valuable jewels--application publishing and seamless windows--there’s no chill in the relationship and collaboration continues unabated, executives of both companies insisted.

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