Microsoft is expected to announce a limited public beta of its multi-user Windows software Hydra at the Comdex show in Las Vegas next week. However, Microsoft is not saying when Hydra will ship. There have been reports that Microsoft would like to ship the software as an add-on to Windows NT 4.0 in the first quarter of 1998. Part of the difficulty in setting a shipping date is that Microsoft is having problems getting Hydra to work with T-Share, the Microsoft-developed protocol that will be the main method of accessing Hydra, according to sources. The alternative access method to T-Share, Citrix's ICA protocol, is already widely accepted in the industry. T-Share is unique to Microsoft. Several vendors, including Boundless, Tektronix and NCD, will show Windows terminals and Windows CE devices accessing Hydra servers at Comdex. Jim Fulton, director of strategic planning and business development at NCD, said his company will definitely be showing Windows CE devices connecting to Hydra at Comdex, but he could not confirm whether the T-Share protocol would be used. Wyse will preview "Hydra-ready" Windows terminals in its WinTerm 2000 product family, which will be able to support both Citrix's ICA protocol and Microsoft's T-Share. These will run alongside machines using SCO's alternative technology, Tarantella. SCO has announced that Tarantella will be able to communicate with Hydra servers, but it uses yet another protocol called Adaptive Internet Protocol.
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