Citrix is locked in meetings with senior executives at Microsoft's headquarters, hammering out a cross-licensing deal to mend the recent rift between the partners.
Two weeks ago, Citrix share prices plunged by nearly 60 per cent after Microsoft pre-announced a homegrown technology, codenamed Hydra, similar to the software it licenses from Citrix for its Internet Explorer browser.
At last week?s Cebit conference in Hanover, Pierre-Jean Charrier, Citrix' European marketing manager, said that, while he could not talk about specific details of the hoped-for deal, there were avenues both companies were exploring.
He said: "We have a licence with Microsoft for our ICA technology in Internet Explorer 3.0 and 3.1. It?s directly shipped as an ActiveX plug-in. We?re negotating about cross-licensing more of our technology to Microsoft."
Charrier revealed that Citrix has also licensed its technology to Netscape but its deal with Microsoft was "at present" only for the NT Server and for IE 3.5x - not the upcoming version 4.0 of IE, which Microsoft said two weeks ago would be integrated with both the next version of Windows, codenamed Memphis, and NT 5.0.
However, there is room for negotation on that too, said Charrier, hinting that the success of Windows NT 5.0 could depend on Microsoft licensing more Citrix technology and added that his company had a series of patents covering a variety of current and future platforms.
He added: "Our technology goes much further than just Microsoft platforms. It allows a wide range of devices to be connected to a number of different platforms." Those included connections to cable, wireless and other operating systems from non-Microsoft players.
The Citrix technology allows corporate end users to run NT applications using a thin client, occupying only 15Kbytes or so of memory, said Charrier. That made it attractive to a number of vendors.
Although he refused to say which other vendors had licensed the technology, IBM and Apple are understood to have agreements. There is also speculation that handheld company Psion is in negotations with Citrix.
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