Motorola Computer Group, the systems arm of Motorola Inc, last week struck a deal with hitherto unknown company Exodus Technologies Inc, of Bellevue, Washington, to distribute what is the first multi-user version of Windows NT for a RISC. NTerprise has been in development for over a year at Exodus, which is the new name for what used to be the Connection Division of ConnectSoft Inc. There is already an iAPX-86 version of NTerprise, quietly launched in September, which competes directly with Insignia Solutions Inc’s NTrigue, which in turn is based on technology from high-flying Citrix Systems Inc, currently the dominant force in the market. An Alpha RISC version of NTerprise is expected to be ready by January. Exodus went into business as an independent company on August 1 after ConnectSoft was bought by American United Global Inc, and the multi-user NT unit got spun off. The PowerPC edition of NTerprise is virtually identical to the iAPX-86 version, which sits on top of a standard copy of NT Server, operates as an NT service and requires changes to only a handful of files associated with the operating kernel. NTerprise works using standard X protocols over TCP/IP, which enables any X terminal or X emulation package running on any operating system to access Windows applications running on an NTerprise server. Citrix uses its own ICA thin client. Like NTrigue, NTerprise enables multiple users access the same Windows applications running on the server. NTerprise is built on technology Exodus licensed from France’s Groupe Prologue SA. According to Exodus chief executive officer, Stephen Kangas, NTerprise is an object-oriented C++ program, which he thinks will make it far easier to upgrade and tinker with than the Citrix- based NTrigue, pieces of which are in assembly code. Despite this, Exodus admits its program isn’t as fast as Citrix’s when only a few users are attached, but claims that it scales better and outperforms Citrix with heavy client loads. Still, NTrigue clearly has a long lead on the market, and Exodus is fighting its way in with a promotional price set at half the competition, good at least until December 1. A single NTerprise server and one client licence is $800. With five clients it’s $1,300 and a server and 10 client licenses is $2,000. Additional client licenses are $195 each. Users need to provide their own X server software.
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