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Citrix confirms move on Unix

Hinted at MetaFrame Unix server will now happen. So much for NT

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Citrix is preparing to launch a Unix version of its applications server software, Codenamed MetaFrame U. The crucial factor behind this decision, as recently revealed by Citrix's senior VP, David Jones, is the company's belief that a Unix version of MetaFrame won't offend its major trading partner, Microsoft. Citrix has to tread carefully here since it not only has a team of engineers working at Redmond but also has a guaranteed annual income of $40 million from the Gates Gang. However, Jones maintained that Microsoft views Unix as old hat whereas Java is regarded as the real threat. The ace up Citrix's sleeve is its acquisition of a 60-strong team of Unix engineers as part of a deal with British firm Insignia earlier this year. Although Citrix hinted strongly at September's i-Forum in Orlando that Java and Unix products were a possibility, this is the strongest indication yet that a server-based rather than client-based offering is imminent. Jones said the product will be released in response to demand from telecoms companies who have standardised on Unix applications rather than Windows NT. Previous efforts to attract these customers have been relatively low key, such as the creation of a special OS/2 ICA client for one French telecoms operation. A Unix offering is essential for Citrix's planning to move up-market -- right now, MetaFrame only runs under NT. Although it already has an installed based of 150,000 servers worldwide, Citrix expects its major customers to start running thousands of servers rather than just hundreds as at present, and is clear that for all its NT background, the company reckons that OS isn't up to the task. ®

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