Citrix was founded in 1989 by ex-IBM developer Ed Iacobucci. Citrix was originally called Citra but needed to change its name after an existing company claimed trademark rights.
The Citrix name is made from Citrus and UNIX. Many of the original founding members were from the IBM OS/2 project. Ed’s vision was to build OS/2 with multi-user support. IBM was not interested in this idea so Ed decided to leave to form his own company.
There were two other founders besides Ed but the other two left before Citrix became successful. The first office was in Richardson, Texas, but moved shortly thereafter to Coral Springs, Florida. The company’s first product was Citrix MULTIUSER, which was based on OS/2. Citrix licensed the OS/2 source from Microsoft instead of asking IBM. Citrix hoped to capture part of the UNIX market by making it easy to deploy text-based OS/2 applications. This original thinking did not pan out and it was necessary to re-adjust the plans. Citrix spent much more time listening to what customers wanted and WinView was a result of that change. It was Citrix’s first successful product. It came at a dark time in 1993 when it looked like the company would not survive. WinView changed the tide and providing remote access to DOS and Windows 3.1 applications on a multi-user platform proved to address many customer concerns. Microsoft licensed the source code of NT to Citrix, and in 1995 Citrix began to sell WinFrame, a stand-alone system based on Windows NT 3.51.