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Citrix Project Crystal Palace Unifies the User Experience

The industry has been focused on how to develop a strategy for the enterprise that can manage the user experience across diverse devices. The thing is, the focus has been on how to deliver these resources regardless of the form factor that you are using. Citrix has been working on what's called Project Crystal Palace, which focuses on how to integrate the user experience across these devices.

Today, it is possible to shift your working application from device to device, so that if you are using a VDI desktop or published application on your physical desktop, you can move it to your iPad and continue to work seamlessly. In this scenario, however, you lose any working sets. So, any data that is on the clipboard does not move, and if you had any URLs open in a browser you would have to reopen them, and so on. The reason for this is that all those resources are tied to the instance of the originating operating system.

Aside from the truly interesting name, Project Crysta Palace is pretty sweet. Citrix's vision is to seamlessly allow users to change devices while maintaining the working set and the user experience, copy from your iPhone and paste it into your Windows laptop, start a video on your Droid device and finish it on your iPad. Share a URL with colleagues? That is possible too. Citrix is leveraging the cloud as a platform that weaves these devices together.

Citrix is taking a page out of Apple's playbook and leveraging ShareFile's cloud infrastructure. If you recall, Apple introduced the ability to send iMessages from one device and receive them on another. Citrix is adapting the same concepts for its products.

Is this a game changer? Certainly not. But the fact that the user experience is always attained with a combination of small, convenient features can make all the difference in the world. Crystal Palace offers a number of features that alone are not a big deal but when combined with the rest of the technologies in the suite, they become game changers and sources of productivity.

We are not used to this level of productivity. I cannot tell you how many times I've come across a useful URL on twitter on my iPhone and have copied it to a text message or e-mail in order to move it to my iPad or PC where I want to use it. Now, I know URLs are not the ultimate productivity reason to have a platform like this, but think of the other use cases that this technology can apply to. What if, for instance, you could configure an application just once and then have those settings automatically migrate from device to device. Now, that would be a very useful feature that I would appreciate. It's just one example and I am sure you can think of more use cases (which I hope you'll share in the comments).

The important thing here is that Citrix is now looking beyond just enabling resources on different devices and looking at how to seamlessly integrate the user experience across these devices. This technology is still in its early stages and there are many caveats and limitations to how it works. For now, with iDevices the clipboard functionality is not exactly stellar or seamless, considering you can't do a direct copy and paste between devices. Now, you have to copy/paste onto the Crystal Palace application and then do the same thing on the receiving end. This is due to Apple's restrictions and limitations more so than a Crystal Palace limitation.

Do you agree with me that this is a promising platform that will allow enterprises to weave together desktop virtualization with enterprise mobility management and enterprise file syncing capabilities? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

Posted by Elias Khnaser on 10/15/2013 at 4:07 PM


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