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-- by Joseph C. Panettieri
Microsoft is finally getting serious about Windows terminals. By the end of this year, the company expects to begin beta testing Hydra, a multi-user software package that links Windows terminals and PCs to Windows NT Server.
Hydra has three components: Hydra Server, Hydra Client and the Hydra Remote Protocol. Hydra Server lets you host multiple, simultaneous client sessions on NT Server 4.0 and the forthcoming 5.0 release. Hydra Client will run the Win95 interface on Windows CE terminals, PCs and UNIX workstations. Hydra Remote Protocol (based on the T.SHARE/T.120 international multichannel conferencing protocol) allows Hydra clients to link to Hydra servers.
Hydra will use multi-user technology that Microsoft licensed-after months of heated negotiations-from Citrix Systems. Sources say Citrix wanted Microsoft to pay a hefty $1 billion license fee for its multi-user code.
Microsoft originally balked at Citrix's demand and threatened to develop multi-user technology on its own (see NT Newstrends, June). But faced with the rising threat of network computers from Oracle, Microsoft eventually returned to the bargaining table, leading to a payday of about $170 million for Citrix.
Microsoft has not disclosed pricing for Hydra, but company insiders predict it will cost several hundred dollars per server and less than $100 per client.