"When it's streamed down to me I don't have to worry about installing it or anything. I always have the latest, greatest version of it," he says. "Not only does it start up quickly, but should anything go wrong with the application, I can just re-stream it."
XenApp places applications on centralized servers, allowing users to connect to them from remote devices. To the user, it appears as if the application had been installed on the desktop. Essentially, the presentation layer or user interface is virtualized, says Barb Goldworm, founder and chief analyst for FOCUS Consulting. "Rather than run it on your own desktop, you're running it on a server, virtualizing the presentation layer and distributing it over the network," she says.
Citrix has gone further than any other vendor in terms of virtualizing both desktops and applications, Goldworm says.
Server virtualization giant VMware got into the application virtualization market this year by purchasing Thinstall, which has been renamed ThinApp. Microsoft offers an application virtualization product called App-V.