Citrix releases new XenMobile, adds Windows Phone 8 support

ANAHEIM, CALIF. – Citrix Systems Inc. has rolled out another version of XenMobile, its solution for managing mobile devices in the enterprises – and this iteration has some new features targeted towards business users who want to boost their productivity.

During its Synergy conference this week, Citrix unveiled its latest version of XenMobile 9, which now features military-grade encryption of the data stored on corporate smartphones, as well as data in motion or in transit between devices. The company has also added support for Windows Phone 8, aiming the solution towards users across all mobile devices.

Beyond that, however, Citrix has added some new features to its WorxMail and WorxWeb apps, designed to make business users’ lives easier. For example, WorxWeb, which provides secure web access, now has a better user interface and support for users who are viewing pages while they’re offline. WorxMail now has a “triage” option, giving users the ability to quickly flip through their email, swiping upwards to mark an email as “read” and swiping downwards to delete it.

Citrix also has some other new features under construction, like WorxNotes, an app allowing users to capture notes and add photos and audio recordings to them. Users will also be able to join calendar invites and conference calls while they’re on the go – for example, a user who is driving can just tap an emailed calendar invite once to join a call, directly within in the email. And a team of users can collaborate on notes, as they are shared in Citrix’s StoreFile.

Citrix WorxNotes. (Image: Citrix).
Citrix WorxNotes. (Image: Citrix).

There’s also WorxEdit, which gives users the ability to edit files on their mobile devices. They can grab these files from WorxMail, their corporate desktops, or through ShareFile. And again, they’re able to collaborate on the edits with their co-workers. Then there’s WorxDesktop, making files, apps, and desktops available through mobile devices. This app provides remote connectivity to a physical desktop at home or back in the office.

What sets these apps apart from the default, native emails preloaded onto users’ phones is their ability to make people more productive, said Chandra Sekar, Citrix’s director of product marketing.

“The default email client you have with, say, iOS, or even the default email client you have with Android, is built with the consumer in mind … I need an email system that is designed with the business user in mind,” Sekar said in an interview, adding the email apps on iOS and Android don’t allow users to attach notes to calendar invites.

(Image: Citrix).
(Image: Citrix).

And while it may seem that some of these changes are just incremental, Sekar said these features are exclusively available with Citrix, and that they’re “sought after” among customers.

“Mobility moves at such a rapid pace, and people kind of expect a certain level of feature changes between versions … but certainly, I would not minimize the number of new capabilities we have with XenMobile 9.0,” he said.

“XenMobile 9.0 includes WorxMail and WorxWeb, written for the Windows Phone 8 platform. Those are completely brand new applications for the Windows Phone 8 platform, and no other vendor has that. So it’s the first secure email client for the Windows Phone 8 platform.”

Sekar added he expects to see more uptake of Windows Phone 8 in Europe, where many customers have a brand affinity with Nokia.

For Kevin Burden, an analyst with Strategy Analytics, XenMobile 9 was one of the most interesting announcements to come out of Citrix’s Synergy conference.

“Anything they can do to make mail a lot easier for people to use, to get through, to spend less time – that’s somewhat interesting,” he said, adding the added support for Windows Phone 8 was also significant.

“We’ve been waiting for some time for companies like Citrix to support Windows Phone 8, and that was because it was based on demand. And apparently the demand hasn’t really been there up until now … The point there is, within the enterprise, Windows Phone is finally coming up to a level of respectability.”

And Chris Hazelton, an analyst with 451 Research, said he believes the added security features in XenMobile 9 will make the solution more attractive to government institutions, especially in the U.S.

The enhancements to WorxMail and WorxWeb will be available next month, while WorxNotes, WorxEdit, and WorxDesktop will be in technology preview.

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Candice So
Candice So
Candice is a graduate of Carleton University and has worked in several newsrooms as a freelance reporter and intern, including the Edmonton Journal, the Ottawa Citizen, the Globe and Mail, and the Windsor Star. Candice is a dog lover and a coffee drinker.

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