Overview of Citrix Competitors

Last Updated:
April 11, 2024

Citrix Competitors Overview

Here at GO-Global, we often get inquiries—usually from Microsoft® Windows® ISVs using Citrix to deliver their application to customers—asking “Is GO-Global® a Citrix® alternative?”

Our answer? “That depends on what you want to accomplish.”

Citrix technology rolls up into two primary solution categories: desktop-as-a-service (Citrix DaaS) and Virtual Desktop Interface (VDI, aka Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops). Citrix enables organizations to securely deliver applications and desktops to end users located anywhere. Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops can be installed on premises or in a cloud that’s managed by the Citrix customer or their MSP; Citrix DaaS delivers Virtual App sand Desktops as a managed service.

Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops and Citrix DaaS are designed for medium-to-large enterprises that want to provide employees with the applications or desktops they need to do their jobs from anywhere. Citrix solutions include an extensive feature set for system administrators to monitor, manage,and control employees’ desktops, and provide end user support, and scale and secure the Citrix environment. Companies that deploy Citrix in a public cloud find that Citrix duplicates infrastructure components and the security and scalability features already provided by cloud services, adding complexity and cost to the implementation.

Citrix technology relies on Microsoft Remote Desktop Services (RDS) to enable end users to initiate and control an interactive session on a remote computer or virtual machine using a network or internet connection.So, in addition to Citrix licensing, Citrix customers must purchase Windows licenses and additional licenses for each user.

This all adds up to a complex solution that’s expensive to install, implement, and manage (if you choose Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops). If you’re a Windows ISV who simply wants to deliver their application to customers from any cloud, a Citrix solution is probably more than you need.

Interestingly, some of our ISV customers use Citrix to deliver their employees’ desktop environment and GO-Global to deliver their Windows application(s) to their customers. When asked, one of our largest customers told us that while they use Citrix internally, they didn’t consider it for their customers because GO-Global is considerably less expensive and delivers better performance. “Employees are willing to wait. Customers aren’t.”

Alternatives to Citrix: Managed Desktops for Employees

Amazon Workspaces

A fully managed desktop virtualization service for Windows, Linux, and Ubuntu®, that allows workers to access resources from any supported device using a browser or native client applications. Workspaces is available only on Amazon Web Services (AWS).

VMware Horizon/Horizon Cloud

A desktop and app VDI product for Windows, Linux, and MacOS that provides virtual desktop and app capabilities to end users. Horizon desktops include a desktop operating system – typically Windows – running within a virtual machine on a hypervisor. Multiple VMware software components are required in order to provide Horizon virtual desktops.

Parallels RAS

A VDI product delivering centrally hosted Windows desktops and apps to end users. RAS can be installed on premises, in a private cloud, or on Microsoft Azure, Microsoft Azure Virtual Desktop, and AWS.

Microsoft RDS

Remote Desktop Services, is one of the components of Windows that allow a user to initiate and control an interactive session on a remote computer or virtual machine over a network connection. RDS is Microsoft's implementation of thin client architecture, where Windows software, and the entire desktop of the computer running RDS, are made accessible to any remote client machine that supports Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP). 


Alternatives to Citrix: Cloud-Based Application Access for Customers or Employees

Amazon AppStream 2.0

A fully managed service which can be configured for application streaming or for delivery of virtual desktops with selective persistence. AppStream lets IT convert desktop applications to SaaS without reconfiguring. Like Workspaces, AppStream 2.0 is available on AWS only.

Microsoft App-V

Provides application virtualization and application streaming capabilities to allow IT to run applications remotely and stream them to end users. Beginning with Windows 10, App-V is included in Windows 10 for Enterprise (version 1607). App-V sandboxes the executionenvironment for each app so that different versions of the same software can run concurrently, and mutually exclusive applications can safely co-exist on the same user system.


An application publishing solution providing multi-user access to Windows applications from any location, device, and operating system. Unlike most of the remoteaccess products described above that leverage RDS, GO-Global fully replaces the Microsoft functionality including multi-session kernel, Remote Desktop clients, display driver, protocol, internet gateway and management tools.

See the chart below for more details on the products listed above.

Citrix Competitors Comparison
Citrix Competitors Comparison

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