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June 19, 1997updated 05 Sep 2016 12:53pm

CITRIX FACING A BLUE PERIOD?

By CBR Staff Writer

Looking ahead, it’s difficult to see exactly what value-proposition Citrix Systems Inc has. In exchange for giving up the multi-user extensions to NT (that are regarded as its crown jewels, despite the fact that it would like everyone to believe its treasure is ICA Intelligent Console Architecture) the company recently got a development agreement to help Microsoft Corp build a multi-user version of NT called Hydra for an initial $75 million in fees over five years. Citrix claims that Hydra, which will use Microsoft’s own T.Share ICA-alike client display protocol, needs Win-32 on both sides, is message-based and not graphical, where its ICA client display and server-based display services are fully GUI-enabled and took six years to develop, giving it a significant lead. However although Microsoft will recommend Citrix’s ICA as its preferred way to access Windows applications form non-Windows devices for the next two and half years, this development agreement apparently leaves Citrix with only an add- on business and of course, for what it’s worth, the ability to enhance its 3.51 product until the year 2001. Citrix yesterday said it’s developing a raft of new software for deploying and managing applications on all manner of thin client devices, including set-tops, point-of-sale devices, kiosks, telephones and others, based upon its ICA Intelligent Console Architecture client display, ICA transport protocol and server-based display services, which it calls Picasso. Picasso is being designed for use with the Hydra Server, a full multiuser NT kernel and a thin-display protocol which betas on NT 5.0 this fall and is due to ship with NT 5.0 in June 1998. Citrix chairman and CTO Ed Iacobucci admits that Microsoft Corp will one day have something like Picasso, while Microsoft EVP Steve Ballmer says Hydra will include all of the functionality of Picasso. Ballmer says it’s also putting ICA together with its own NetMeeting intranet/internet video, telephony and data conferencing client. So where will Citrix make money? Iacobucci says by listening to its customers and developing its WinFrame technologies to meet their requirements.

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