Citrix has acknowledged that there is more to life than server-based computing, at least as far as mobile users are concerned. The company has released a version of its Metaframe Secure Access Manager, which also synchronises data to the client PC, as well as providing access to server applications.
"We want to enable the user to work on and off-line, using file synchronisation, but with their data still residing on a central server," said Stefan Sjöström, Citrix's vice-president for EMEA. "The biggest complaint we've had from mobile users is that they can't work when they are not connected."
The new software uses SSL to create a secure Web-based connection that can both tunnel the Citrix display protocol for server applications, and synchronise email and other data to Microsoft Outlook, from a central Exchange server. The next version will add Lotus Notes synchronisation, Citrix says.
Sjöström added that Citrix has joined Intel's Mobilized Software Initiative (MSI), and is working with Intel to make its software more connection-aware and better able to control power consumption on a mobile device.
He said that the ability to use any client device over any network link is a vital part of MSI, as is the ability to connect seamlessly over a variety of networks such as Wi-Fi or GPRS.
"We are specifically looking for connection-aware applications," agreed Erik Steeb, director of Intel architecture marketing, Europe. "We do like applications to be aware of whether they have a network connection, and if it is slow or fast, so they can adapt."
He said that Intel can assist companies such as Citrix because it has broad industry contacts, so it can help them develop mobile software that can connect seamlessly and securely.
Sjöström said that 72 percent of mobile Citrix users use wireless Intel-architecture laptops. However, Steeb claimed that Intel did not want to tie MSI to Centrino. "You can't restrict the technology - the user wouldn't benefit from that," he said.