On the long flight back to California from the IP Expo show in London, I made the mistake of watching the recent movie, American Reunion. Ironically, I missed my own high school reunion attending the show. (No, I’m not saying what year I graduated – my wife prohibits me from revealing any information that could be used to estimate her age to the nearest decade.)
So even though the recent announcement of a partnership between Cisco and Citrix has absolutely nothing to do with preppy, peppy cheerleaders in short skirts, my jet-lag-addled brain (and yeah, maybe a few too many of those free Heinekens) saw it in that context. And it seemed in that weird moment of clarity that comes at 3:47 AM in a darkened airplane that Cisco was the ex-football star from high school who actually made it big in the pros. In high school, Cisco dated the hottest cheerleader, Microsoft, and everyone figured they’d end up hitched. But it just never happened and despite flings with a hot new start up each month, Cisco stayed the eligible bachelor while Microsoft ended up married with five noisy kids, a bit overweight now, but the undisputed queen of the PTA.
Citrix was never the ugly duckling, but had always been overshadowed by Microsoft, the two in a catty relationship, mean girl MS keeping her as best friends when it suited her, quick to besmirch her behind her back at other times, always a wary eye on her. But years later, Citrix has kept her shape, grown with new experiences, and inherited a boatload of money from a virtual uncle, and now suddenly finds herself the belle of the reunion, dancing with the slightly balding but handsome as ever Cisco – as us geeks stand in the corner bemused.
So are Cisco and Citrix now a couple? Will EMC be jealous or are they officially over? Are they exchanging engineers and code yet, or just going out to expensive restaurants? Us geeks at the party can’t help gossiping.