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-- by John D. Ruley
In Greek mythology, the Hydra was a nine-headed monster that rampaged through Argos-provoking fear among the inhabitants. Not by coincidence, Microsoft Hydra-a forthcoming multi-user software package for NT Server-has some of its rivals very concerned.
Hydra is expected to transform NT Server 5.0 into a true multi-user system, similar to how UNIX servers support X terminals. It's unclear whether Hydra will be folded into NT Server 5.0 or ship as a separate product. Sources at Microsoft tell us that Hydra servers will work with PC clients running DOS, Windows 3.x, Windows 95 and NT. Sources add that Hydra could easily be made to support Windows CE network terminals and X terminals.
Of course, whenever Microsoft steps into a new market, someone gets trampled. This time the apparent victim is Citrix Systems (see NT Administrator in this issue). Citrix pioneered WinFrame and Internet Client Architecture (ICA) protocol, a family of software that brings multi-user capabilities to NT Server. Microsoft has licensed ICA, but it's unclear whether the company will develop NT Hydra's multi-user capabilities from scratch.
Until Hydra arrives, test WinFrame at http://www.citrix.com/hotspot/htm.