In a move that stunned the virtualization industry today, Citrix struck a deal to acquire Microsoft Corporation for a price tag rumored to be close to $300 Billion. When questioned about the deal, Citrix CEO Mark Templeton reportedly said, “It seems like every six months or so another rumor surfaces about Microsoft buying Citrix. I just got sick of dealing with that, and decided to end it once and for all by buying them.“
Templeton is expected to take over as President and CEO of the combined corporation, while Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer is expected to head up a newly formed multi-level marketing division. An anonymous source within Microsoft commented, “Have you ever seen Ballmer on stage? Heck, he makes those Amway cheerleaders sound like Linus Torvalds on qualudes!” The two companies’ partner programs are expected to transition to a multi-level model. For example, Citrix Silver Partners will now purchase products from Gold Partners, who will in turn purchase products from Platinum Partners. A similar transition will take place within the existing Microsoft channel with their Registered, Certified, and Gold Certified partners.
Rumors continue to swirl over how Citrix, with a total market capitalization of less than $8 billion, could finance a takeover of a company more than 30 times larger than itself. One industry analyst, speaking strictly off the record, said “Hey, they are in South Florida after all. I’m just sayin’.”
Another possible driver for the deal is the lingering bitterness over the 1997 transition from WinFrame, which was a fully functional Windows server with remote access functionality built in, to the dual products of NT Server, Terminal Server Edition, sold by Microsoft, and MetaFrame, sold by Citrix – a situation that persists to this day with XenApp v6 being sold as an enhancement to Windows Server 2008 R2. “It’s about time,” Templeton reportedly said, “that the two products became one again.”
One thing is certain – this year’s Citrix Synergy conference will be the most interesting in years!