Corel has finally pulled out of its doomed Java development effort by selling its fledgling jBridge technology to GraphOn in return for a 25 per cent stake, valued at $3.9 billion.
The Canadian software supplier jumped early onto the Java bandwagon, after it announced its Corel Office for Java productivity suite in 1996, but although the offering was scheduled to ship in mid-1997, it never moved beyond beta testing due to performance problems.
jBridge was developed, however, so the firm would not have to rewrite its core WordPerfect Suite in Java. The technology enables any operating system (OS) with an integrated Java Virtual Machine (JVM) to access Windows applications running on a Windows NT server.
Although the product is still at least six months from shipment, it already has one licensee, Sybase, which plans to use the technology to run PowerBuilder applications remotely.
Michael Cowpland, Corel?s president and chief executive, said the company may also still ship some elements of the technology at some unspecified time in the future.
He added that Corel would now concentrate on its core Corel Draw and WordPerfect Office brands, and was putting its hopes on the equally hyped Linux OS instead of Java.
On Friday, the vendor also announced that users could now download a free Linux version of WordPerfect 8, and that it would port the rest of its applications to the OS over time.
GraphOn, on the other hand, will integrate jBridge with its own GO line of Unix thin client offerings, which are based on a proprietary, high-speed version of the X protocol.
Its GO-Joe product already enables Java clients to access Unix and Linux applications, but jBridge will add Windows support, opening up a potentially much larger market.
?We are now able to connect any client platform to any server over any connection,? said Walt Keller, GraphOn?s president and chief executive.
But the firm faces an uphill struggle launching jBridge onto the market because it will compete head on with the Terminal Server Edition of Microsoft?s own Windows NT Server, which is based on technology that has Microsoft licensed from Citrix.
Other established competitors include Citrix? MetaFrame, which is an add-on to Microsoft Terminal Server, and the Santa Cruz Operation?s Tarantella.
Unlike Citrix, however, GraphOn is a newcomer to the multi-user Windows market and does not have a Microsoft source code license.
Greg Blatnik, vice president of Zona Research, said: ?Perhaps ? and the big word is perhaps - with jBridge and its own technologies and a little bit of sweat, it can put together something that can compete with Citrix and Microsoft Terminal Server. But it?s not going to do magic without [Windows NT] source code, and Microsoft is not going to support this.?
Cotton seedling freezes to death as Chang'e-4 shuts down for the Moon's 14-day lunar night
Fortnite easily out-earns PUBG, Assassin's Creed Odyssey and Red Dead Redemption 2 in 2018
Meteor showers as a service will be visible for about 100 kilometres in all directions
Saturn's rings only formed in the past 100 million years, suggests analysis of Cassini space probe data
New findings contradict conventional belief that Saturn's rings were formed along with the planet about 4.5 billion years ago