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October 29, 1997updated 03 Sep 2016 7:34pm

SCO DEBUTS TARANTELLA ‘APPLICATION BROKER’

By CBR Staff Writer

Santa Cruz Operation Inc has duly confirmed November 17th as official roll-out date for its Tarantella middleware, which it has finally chosen to describe as an ‘application broker for network computing.’ It’s essentially an optimized means of deploying new or existing applications to any Java-enabled client. Tarantella is written in C++, though future versions will be written in Java, according to SVP marketing Ray Anderson. It takes Windows, Unix, or mainframe applications, and deploys them to both Wintel PCs and future ultra-thin network devices with browser support – with the added plus that the server intelligently tunes the network so as to maximize efficiency. A color graphic would not be sent to a monochrome screen; Tarantella’s Adaptive Internet Protocol is smart enough to send the black & white version instead. Few new details of the product were announced yesterday, apart from pricing and platform availability, than those offered-up at the company’s SCO Forum user and analyst conference in August (CI No 3,232). The first version will be available for SCO’s UnixWare and Sun’s Sparc Solaris, with versions for HP-UX, AIX, Sinix, SCO OpenServer and Windows NT following in 1998. The initial target is larger organizations seeking to lower the cost of application deployment over their intranets, with pricing set at $400 for a single-user license, $250 per seat for a 100-user license, dropping to $200 per seat for a 500-user license. SCO has no OEMs signed to date, though cheerleaders from Netscape Communications Corp, systems integrator ICS, and Wyse Technology are lending enthusiastic support to the product, along with the previously announced support of CNT, Interface Systems, Network Computing Devices Inc, StarQuest Software Inc. Unisys Corp, HP, and IBM are also in the background, says the company. Gartner Group sees a potential market for network computing in general as amounting to $3bn by 2002, with the particular slot Tarantella may fit into being the 80% of host access and terminal emulation work done on desktops today in future involving the use of browsers or other dynamically deployed functionality. SCO, which reported disappointing fiscal 1997 results net losses of $15.2m on sales down 6.8% to $193.7m, gave no indication of how much revenue it expects from the product, but it is obviously key to the company’s future.

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