Citrix and Microsoft announced plans to develop a new appliance aimed squarely at branch offices.

The new appliance will be based on Microsoft Windows Server 2003 and will use ISA Server to provide added security. Citrix WANScaler will improve network performance and provide application acceleration. The new appliance will integrate with Citrix enterprise solutions, including NetScaler, Presentation Server and EdgeSight.

According to Citrix there are over 23 million branch offices around the world belonging to roughly 9.5 million companies, and over half of all IT staff in large organizations work in branch offices. Citrix expects that the new appliance will reduce branch office management costs while will improving overall branch office effeciency.

Citrix expects to make the product available in the second half of 2007.