Remote Access

Video: Windows on an iPhone

November 13, 2008: 6:18 AM ET

The clip pasted below may excite or horrify you, depending on your point of view.

It's a demo of a program in development at Citrix Systems (CTXS) that lets you access apps on a computer running Microsoft (MSFT) Windows from an Apple (AAPL) iPhone.

Citrix specializes in products like XenApp and XenDesktop that allow remote access from a variety of computer platforms including Windows, Linux and Mac OS. They even make versions that run on Windows Mobile and Symbian smartphones, but by their own admission, "slow, unreliable wireless networks, small screens and awkward user input models" have made them less than satisfying.

But according to product manager Albert Granville:

"The latest generation of hand held devices with their large, high definition screens and the availability of high-speed wireless networks are changing the game in a big way! A hand held device such as an iphone connected to XenApp via a high-speed 3G network yields a remarkably usable experience." (link)

Here, thanks to Citrix's U.K.-based Mac development team, is what XenApp looks like when ported to an iPhone (turn your speakers down if you're not a big Moody Blues fan):

The product is clearly a work in progress. For one thing, the demo doesn't show any data entry from the iPhone. Granville says his team is working on it and promises to provide updates and an ETA on his Citrix User Experience blog.

Tip of the hat to CNBC's Jim Goldman and MacDailyNews.

CLARIFICATION: Reader Chris from Fairborn, Ohio, points out that remote access to Windows machines has been available on the iPhone from WinAdmin ($11.99), Remote Desktop ($5.99) and several other programs on the App Store. Reader Bob in Chicago clarifies:

"The Citrix client gives access to hosted applications on XenApp servers — allowing dozens to hundreds of users to access their applications remotely from a single system, with the very efficient Ctrix ICA display protocol.

One approach is for individual users — the other is for a cost-effective shared application delivery infrastructure."

Thanks to both. Pardon my cluelessness.

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