Difference between windows profile and citrix profile

What is the difference between Citrix profile and Windows Profile? If asked in Interview
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Ayman BakrConnect With a Mentor Senior ConsultantCommented:
Windows Profiles are not version aware. There exist V1 and V2 profile types in Windows. Windows XP (& 2003) and prior dealt with V1 profiles. Windows Vista, 7, 2008 and later OS dealt with V2 profiles. The difference in both is the namespace (folder structure). In V1 the namespace is: %systemroot%\Documents and Settings\%username%. While in V2 the namespace is: %systemroot%\Users\%username%.

This causes an issue in a mixed environment or if you are migrating from one using V1 to a new one using V2. You will need to use tools to do the migration, an added headache. Moreover, in Windows profiles, if a user is logged on several machines with a roaming profile, then the last write only will be; i.e. a user will lose a lot of what he was working in previous machines. Also conflicts are not handled well, frequently causing corruption to the profile.

Citrix profiles nowadays are version aware. They are mangaged using GPO. As basraj outlined, downloading and writing to the profile is done when required, enhancing the performance and saving all writes (compared to saving the last write and overriding previous writes). Therefore, citrix profiles are less prone to conflicts and corruption. This makes Citrix profiles more suitable for Remote Desktop Services (Terminal Services) environments.

However, Citrix profile is not the best. Appsense provides one of the best solutions, yet really extremely expensive. It is the Mercedes of profile management software.
Jerry MillerConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Citrix is a terminal server software that runs on Windows servers. Usually there are multiple servers running a variety of application.

A Citrix profile will contain the application resources to which you have access on the Citrix server. The Windows server profile also keeps track of your resource access, but contains information on your file shares, printers, and other network access.

Here is Citrix KB article that explains the difference between Windows profiles on Citrix.
basrajConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Citrix profiles is nothing but the terminal server profile of windows. Most organization use this terminal server for profiles and this can be applied via AD user properties or via GPO and other ways. However Citrix also come up with its own solution for profiles called as Citrix profile manager for better performance than the windows profiles. It actually reduces the logon time of the application by downloading files to the profile only when required.
I take a different approach to this discussion.

There is no difference - a profile is a profile is a profile.  It's the Windows profile.  

Where you get into differences is where the profile is stored, how it is managed, etc.  But, ultimately, it's the set of files and registry settings unique to the user, and that's it.

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