Virtualization Technology News and Information
The Long and Winding Road

A Contributed Article by Barry Flanagan, VP of WW Sales, hopTo

"The long and winding road that leads to your door
Will never disappear
I've seen that road before it always leads me here
Leads me to your door
-    Paul McCartney, John Lennon ,1970


My long and winding road in tech started in the summer of 1997. I was working as a consultant for Pomeroy, a regional system integrator in the Southeast at the time (and now a much, much larger SI). A customer had recently come to us with a challenge - provide a scalable, manageable and affordable remote access solution for up to 50 concurrent users. Their first solution was 50 desktop computers with 56K modems and PCAnywhere . If you have been around in tech long enough to remember when dialup modems and PCAnywhere were a viable solution to provide remote employees internal access, you can imagine the mess - 50 desktop computers, 50 keyboards, 50 monitors, stacked on folding tables , with a rat's nest of power cables and modems wires coming out of the back of every PC. The solution the customer was interested in to deal with this problem was built by a small software company based in Ft. Lauderdale, Fl - Citrix. Citrix provided a very innovative solution to the challenge of delivering apps externally - a solution so innovative in those early days that  many people did not believe it worked until they saw it with their own eyes (and sometimes not even then). That sales opportunity changed the direction of the road I was traveling, because it led to me becoming a Citrix employee three years later.

I learned a great deal and had a lot of fun in nearly twelve years at Citrix. It was extremely challenging, yet incredibly exciting at the same time. One of the execs had a saying - "this stuff shows better than it tells". Most people had to see it to believe it back in those days.

I have been looking for the next great ride in my tech industry journey ever since leaving Citrix in late 2011. My most recent stop in this long and winding road is at a software company called hopTo. In many ways, I feel much like I did when I joined Citrix in 2000. For the first time since I joined Citrix, I have found another truly innovative solution that is so different from most other solutions out there that it "shows better than it tells".  I have once again joined a company that has innovative technology that solves difficult technical problems for IT and business problems for users. Similarly, the solution is one that many people have never heard of and fewer really understand. Of course, there will be many obstacles and challenges along the way and there is no guarantee of success, but I feel we have a great opportunity to do something special. I am hopeful that, after reading this post and seeing a live demo of hopTo Work 2.0 in our launch webinar on March 31st, you will have a much greater understanding of our technology and how it can help you overcome the technical challenges you encounter with delivering enterprise apps to mobile devices on your own long and winding road.

hopTo has been on its own long and winding road. The company has many years of experience many years delivering Windows remoting technologies (also known as thin client or server based computing) to other ISV's and OEM's along with small businesses in emerging markets. With the explosion of mobile devices, the company utilized that Windows remoting expertise to release one of the first services that allowed consumers on iPads to access a completely transformed touch interface to a cloud based Windows version of Microsoft Office. That solution grew to over 600,000 users, and led directly to hopTo Work - a business solution designed to provide a mobile workspace for touch friendly access to Windows apps and document editing.

With the dramatic growth of non-Windows based mobile devices, IT faces a difficult challenge - how to deliver powerful Windows apps that were designed for a mouse and keyboard to non-Windows mobile devices that have neither. hopTo enables you to leverage existing Windows infrastructure to provide a easy to use, scalable mobile workspace to combine the power of fully functional Windows apps with the ease of use of touch enabled mobile devices. We are announcing a new set of features in hopTo Work 2.0 called MAX - the Mobile App eXperience. MAX expands our mobile workspace solution to touch enable any Windows app deployed to mobile devices.



QuickBooks Pro 2015 running in hopTo Work with MAX. The touch toolbar at the bottom of the screens enables you to create touch buttons for any app function - instead of trying to tap in the exact right spot to open a menu designed for a mouse.


When running a Windows app designed for a mouse and keyboard on a touch enabled mobile device, even the simplest actions can become a challenge. Touching the exact right spot to open a menu, accessing a dropdown box, selecting a different window, choosing an edit field or closing a window can be very frustrating for end users. While many solutions exist to transport existing apps to mobile devices, there is a significant need to take the next step and transform the app into a touch friendly mobile app without redeveloping it. MAX is focused on helping our customers take that next step to transform their existing apps. There are three key components within MAX:

  • MAXcontrol: Transforming a Windows app for mobile requires the ability provide a touch button interface. MAXcontrol gives customers and partners the ability to build customizable touch enabled toolbars for their apps. These toolbars and buttons can quickly be tailored to the specific use-cases of any application to provide easy access to frequently used commands and functions.
  • MAXedit: Entering data and text into Windows apps on mobile devices can be a significant challenge for users. MAXedit greatly simplifies that process by providing controls to easily allow users to navigate across a data entry form. MAXedit provide touch access to edit commands  such as cut, paste text, select text, Select All, Previous and Next. Special keys that are often required for Windows apps like Shift, Control, Alt, Tab and Esc are also available as touch buttons.
  • MAXcam: Many Windows apps require access to external devices. Asset tracking, inventory management, event management, time tracking and visitor tracking apps often leverage bar code scanners. Unfortunately, those features are not available when merely transporting a Windows app to a mobile device. With the new MAXcam feature, users can quickly scan bar codes and QR codes with the mobile device camera. Significant cost savings can be had by allow many more users to access these features, internally and externally, with the need for a PC & usb bar code scanner, or a very expensive mobile bar code scanner. MAXcam also enables access to photos form the device camera, enabling the ability to insert photos of people, building, objects or even documents into relevant fields within a Windows app delivered via the workspace.


Scan and insert a barcode directly into a Windows app from your mobile device with hopTo Work with MAXcam - no need for a full PC with USB bar code scanner or a very expensive mobile bar code scanner.


We are expanding our client support as well. hopTo Work 2.0 expands our client support to Android tablets. Support for editing multiple documents simultaneously, internal and cloud storage integration and access to Remote apps running on Windows Remote Desktop Services are all included. The Mobile App eXperience features will be released on Android in the next update.

You could qualify to win your choice of an Apple Watch, iPad Mini 3 or Samsung Galaxy Note Tablet! We are holding two webinars about hopTo Work 2.0 on March 31st (the first webinar is  at 11 am ET/8 am PT and second webinar is at 2pm ET/11 am PT). We will have a technical webinar hosted by Douglas Brown (Microsoft MVP, Citrix CTP and VMware vEXPERT, on April 7th at 12 pm ET.  Attend one of the launch webinars on March 31st, then join us for the hands-on technical webinar on April 7th. If you can answer a few simple product questions, you will qualify for a chance to win your choice of an Apple Watch, iPad Mini 3 or Samsung Galaxy Note tablet.

All webinars will be recorded and posted at if you cannot make the live broadcast. After seeing our live demo, I firmly believe many of you will understand what I mean when I say this stuff "shows better than it tells". A long and winding road has lead me to this door. I look forward to showing you what is behind the door on March 31st.
Published Tuesday, March 31, 2015 6:26 AM by David Marshall
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