Thin-client computing has been given a boost following the announcement that software available from Citrix will enable Apple Macintosh and Unix workstation users to access Windows-based applications that reside on the server.
?The UNIX and Macintosh ICA clients further our goal of providing universal access to Windows-based applications, regardless of user device or platform,? said David Weiss, director of products for Citrix.
The Fort Lauderdale, Florida company provides access to Windows-based applications using its WinFrame technology and its Independent Computing Architecture (ICA) display protocol.
The WinFrame system, which is based on Windows NT, sits on the server and can be connected to from any operating environment using existing hardware to access any Windows-based application, such as e-mail, word processing, office suite and Internet browser.
Before this move, Unix and Mac users would have had to upgrade with dedicated software or hardware to access Windows applications.
According to analysts, this method is appealing because it offers the cost benefits of a server-centric environment whilst also maintaining the popular Windows interface.
?The importance of WinFrame is the ability of IT personnel to better manage their environments, because it requires very little bandwidth and is very low-maintenance,? said Mike Richtberg, senior product manager at Citrix.
?The technology goes further than Network Computers because there is no requirement for any applications to be downloaded onto the local site, it can all be done from the server.?
He also said that the thin-client approach was more secure then conventional client-server set-ups.
?The data never leaves the server so there is no need for backups and there is no need to worry about someone walking away with your desktop that may contain important or sensitive corporate information,? he said. The addition of compatability in these environments follows Citrix?s recent deals with IBM, Sharp and other major OEM?s, following the acquisition of some software elements of emulation company Insignia in January this year (see Newswire, 14 January 1998).
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