|Developer(s)||ExpertCity; Citrix Systems|
version 8.3 / October 6, 2011
GoToMyPC is remote desktop software that allows users to access computers remotely using a web browser. It was developed by ExpertCity and launched in 1998. Citrix Systems acquired ExpertCity in 2004 and maintained the GoToMyPC brand and services. There are three versions of the solution: "Personal", "Pro", and "Corporate".
GoToMyPC allows users to access computers and their applications, files, and network resources, remotely and securely using a web browser. There are three versions of GoToMyPC: the basic version ("Personal") is intended for individual users; a "Pro" edition, which was designed for small businesses needing administrative functionality; and a "Corporate" version for companies needing stronger controls and management features. The "Corporate" version enables the ability to restrict access to the basic version, centralizes billing for multiple accounts, and offers additional user management features. GoToMyPC's tag line is "Fast, Easy, Secure".
The 2003 version's datastream is encrypted and allows information technology (IT) professionals to track when users gain access to computer remotely, but does not allow audit-level reporting. For the next release, ExpertCity planned to add Lightweight Directory Access Protocol and considered including audit capabilities by integrating GoToMyPC with third-party network security options. GoToMyPC Corporate 4.0 (c. 2003) uses Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) and is compatible with SecurID and other two-factor authentication performers. Company data is protected by 128-bit end-to-end encryption and one-time passwords.
"GoToMyPC for Mac" was released in 2010, providing users access to one other Macintosh (Mac) or personal computer. "GoToMyPC for iPad" launched in 2011. The iPad app remotely connects by 3G or Wi-Fi networks, and features some multi-touch and gesture-based controls as well as autocorrection. It mirrors keyboard and mouse movements, uses 128-bit AES encryption during data transfers.
Klaus Schauser and Brian Donahoo of ExpertCity, then a privately held company based in Santa Barbara, California, led GoToMyPC's design and development, focusing on "ease-of-use form over function". ExpertCity launched GoToMyPC in 1998, starting with a "Personal" version and followed by a "Corporate" edition months later. As part of a "reverse demand" strategy, ExpertCity marketed the products to individual employees, instead of corporations, because of its limited resources as a startup.
In mid-2001, GoToMyPC required Microsoft Windows on both ends, but ExpertCity planned to release versions compatible with Linux, Macintosh, Palm, Solaris, and Windows CE. The company also planned to create an "infrequent flier" plan for users who only need access during occasional travel times.
In 2003, "GoToMyPC Pro" was launched and targeted at small businesses. In December, Citrix Systems agreed to purchase ExpertCity for $225 million in cash and stock in a deal that closed in 2014. The acquisition was Citrix's largest to date. Citrix planned to keep the GoToMyPC brand, pricing, and services, and let ExpertCity operate from its headquarters in Santa Barbara under Andreas von Blottnitz, who had served as ExpertCity's chief executive officer.
In 2006, the Canadian firm 01 Communique filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Citrix, claiming they filed for a patent in 2000 and obtained one from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in August 2005 for their remote access software I'm InTouch. Following an inter partes reexamination, the USPTO issued a Right of Appeal Notice confirming that all of 01 Communique's claims were patentable. 01 Communique's lawsuit requested "unspecified financial damages" covering August 2005 to the settlement date. In July 2010, the patent infringement claims were upheld. In May 2014, Citrix filed a complaint alleging patent infringement by 01 Communique's "I'm InTouch Meeting" and requesting a "declaratory judgment" against 01 Communique alleging that GoToMyPC did not infringe the original patent. In October, the two companies reached an agreement and withdrew their complaints against each other.
In 2002, GoToMyPC had 55,000 users on the "Personal" version and 140 clients on the "Corporate" edition (or 90 percent of all users on "Personal" and 10 percent of all users on "Corporate"). In 2003, the number of "Personal" users surpassed 100,000. The number of clients using the "Corporate" version was 1,500, with an additional 1,000 using "GoToMyPC Pro". Sixty percent of all customers were still using the "Personal" version, while the "Corporate" and "Pro" editions were being used by 30 percent and 10 percent of users, respectively.
By 2003, GoToMyPC was most preferred by home offices and smaller companies with limited IT resources, as well as groups of users requiring specialized remote access privileges. The largest "Corporate" client was the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services, with 2,000 users. Concerned about security, some companies began blocking Internet Control Message Protocol traffic to prevent employees, who could access computers remotely even when the GoToMyPC site was blocked, from gaining remote access.
In 2004, Citrix confirmed that more than 3,800 companies were using the "Pro" edition.
Following GoToMyPC's launch, beta user Greg Alwang wrote a positive review of the software for PC Magazine. He said the file transfer features were "basic" compared to those offered by competitor pcAnywhere, but complimented the product's usability and concluded, "GoToMyPC is revolutionary, and pcAnywhere is evolutionary."
In the 2000s, GoToMyPC received several recognitions for its performance, including Laptop magazine's "Ultimate Choice Award" for remote access in the software category (2004), PC Magazine's "Best Utility Product" (2003), PC World's "World Class Award for Best Remote Access Software" (2004), and Windows IT Pro's "Readers Choice Award for Best Remote Control Product". In 2003, Network World's Toni Kistner recommended GoToMyPC for users who require remote access to large data stores on desktops or local applications too costly to operate on home computers, or who do not want to lose important desktop data should their personal computer be lost or stolen.
In a 2011 review of GoToMyPC's iPad app, Jeffrey Wilson of PC Magazine said, "The app works as advertised—I was able to control my work PC from a distance—but it could benefit from a more responsive interaction with the host computer." Tony Bradley of PC World said that he saw GoToMyPC as an "insurance plan" that would allow him to use applications or data from his laptop on his iPad, but he was unsure if it would be worth the monthly subscription fee.
In 2013, the International Data Corporation named GoToMyPC the best remote access option for the fifth consecutive year. In 2014, Michael Horowitz of Computerworld said that using GoToMyPC as a "middleman" reduced firewall concerns and the need to name machines, which were safer because the software prevented them from accepting unsolicited inbound connection requests.
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