Citrix, Microsoft Add Easy Access

Called Citrix Access Essentials, the product offers a new named-user pricing model and, for the first time, includes Microsoft Terminal Services Client Access Licenses (CALs) in the base price.

Citrix Access Essentials will be priced at $229 per named user. That includes the $100 to $150 fee for the Terminal Services CALs required for the product's use with the Windows server. The product ships with a 75-user limit, Citrix said.

Customers of the current version of Access Suite pay according to a concurrent licensing model and must license Terminal Services through Microsoft separately. A similarly configured version of Access Standard with Terminal Services CALs, for instance, would be priced at $425 to $450, Citrix said.

Plans call for Citrix Access Essentials to be sold entirely through the channel. Ross Brown, worldwide vice president of channels and operations at Citrix, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., said Access Essentials is ideal for the company's Gold and Silver partners and said Citrix aimed to recruit partners at Microsoft's Worldwide Partner Conference last week in Minneapolis. Citrix's Platinum partners focus primarily on the enterprise market.

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Access Essentials eliminates the need for users to deploy a corporate VPN to access their applications remotely. That makes the product well-suited for SMBs, said Paul Freeman, president of Coast Solutions, a technology services distributor in Irvine, Calif.

"I am a big believer in selling packaged services to the SMB space and believe that this fills a need that both partners and customers have," Freeman said.