Citrix Systems Inc is writing a Java version of its highly lucrative Winframe client, based on its ICA Intelligent Console Architecture. The catalyst for the re-write was Sun Microsystems Inc, which signed a letter of intent with the company to distribute the software with its JavaStations last year. At that time, Citrix said it had no intention of doing a Java re-write, merely converting Winframe for JavaOS, but Sun obviously charmed one of Microsoft Corp’s closest allies, because a Java rewrite is exactly what is going on right now at the Coral Lakes, Florida-based company. It will mean that Java-only Network Computers on any system that has a Java virtual machine could access Windows applications running on Windows NT servers. It’s a fair way off yet though, as all Mark Templeton, Citrix’s vice-president of marketing could commit to was a release some time this year. He said the company was waiting for the arrival in volume of Network Computers, which is seemingly still months off, and also a method of properly distributing and upgrading the stuff over the Web. Citrix doesn’t feel this is readily available yet, or at any rate, it hasn’t got one itself. Templeton points to Microsoft’s method of upgrading ActiveX over the Web as the ideal model right now. At the moment, Citrix is still using a plug-in architecture, and until it devises an alternative architecture, which includes version control, Citrix will not be shipping, says Templeton.