Microsoft Releases Beta 1 of Windows-Based Terminal Server

LAS VEGAS, Nov. 17, 1997 — Today at COMDEX/Fall, Microsoft Corp. announced the release of the first beta version of the Windows® based Terminal Server, code-named “Hydra,” as well as support for Windows-based terminal client devices from major terminal vendors, including Boundless Technologies Inc., Network Computing Devices Inc., Neoware Systems Inc. (formerly HDS Network Systems Inc.), Tektronix Inc. and Wyse Technology Inc. Beta 1 will ship this week to more than 1,000 beta tester accounts for technical evaluation. The Microsoft ® Windows-based Terminal Server, a member of the Windows operating system family, delivers the Windows experience to desktops that cannot run Windows today and enables a new generation of Windows operating system-based applications for terminal users.

Previously, terminal users were limited by the performance capabilities, development tools and desktop user interface of their time-sharing systems. Microsoft is working to address these issues with the Windows-based Terminal Server by providing terminal customers with a compelling new extension to the Windows computing environment that delivers the familiar
32-bit Windows user interface and the power and choice of the thousands of existing
Windows-based applications.

“Customers have told us they want a Windows-based terminal solution to complement traditional Windows-based PCs,” said Jim Allchin, senior vice president of the personal and business systems group at Microsoft. “With ‘Hydra,’ we have extended the 32-bit Windows development environment from Windows NT Server to the terminal applications market. ‘Hydra’ also is a great way to easily provide line-of-business solutions on full PC clients.”

According to “Zona Quiniela,” a Zona Research Inc. report issued Nov. 13, 1997,
” ‘Hydra’ addresses a core need in corporations today by giving Windows-based terminals, legacy PCs and non-Windows desktops – via the pICAsso add-on – access to the world of
32-bit Windows. We believe ‘Hydra’ will be noted as a significant milestone in providing corporations with the tools they need to make thin-client computing a realistic solution.”

About the Windows-Based Terminal Server

Announced in May 1997, the Windows-based Terminal Server, a joint development effort between Microsoft and Citrix Systems Inc., provides the ability to host multiple, simultaneous client sessions on the Windows NT® Server 4.0 operating system and on future versions of Windows NT Server. It will be capable of delivering the experience of 32-bit Windows to a variety of Windows-based desktops directly, as well as non-Windows-based desktops, via the Citrix software code-named “pICAsso,” also announced today. Additional information can be found at .

Planned features and functionality of the Windows-based Terminal Server will help deliver the following benefits:

  • Build and deliver Windows-based terminal applications to terminal users. The Windows-based Terminal Server is compatible with the Windows Distributed interNet Applications (Windows DNA) architecture and is an extension of the Windows family. Any application written to the Win32® API set will run on “Hydra.”

  • Time-share access for terminal users to more than 100,000 Windows-based applications. Customers will gain access to 32-bit Windows-based applications from a range of desktop hardware devices, including new Windows-based terminals, PCs running the Windows 95 and Windows NT Workstation operating systems, PCs running the Windows 3.11 operating system, and UNIX or Macintosh systems (via Citrix’s pICAsso software).

Citrix pICAsso Extended Software Support for “Hydra”

Citrix today announced beta availability of its pICAsso product, thin-client/server software for Microsoft Windows-based Terminal Server for Windows NT Server 4.0, which provides an extended thin-client/server solution for cost-effectively deploying, managing and accessing business-critical applications throughout the enterprise – regardless of client device or network connection. The pICAsso software extends Microsoft Windows-based Terminal Server with additional client- and server-side functionality through Citrix’s Independent Computing Architecture (ICA) protocol in key areas such as heterogeneous computing environment, thin-client/server management, and seamless desktop integration.

Major Terminal Vendors Support the Windows-Based Terminal

Today, Microsoft also announced that major terminal manufacturers including Boundless Technologies Inc., Network Computing Devices Inc., Neoware Systems Inc. (formerly HDS Network Systems Inc.), Tektronix Inc. and Wyse Technology Inc. plan to develop
Windows-based terminals – a new class of desktop hardware that will launch and run the
Windows NT-based desktop and applications completely off the server. These Windows-based terminals, the ideal upgrade for terminal users, will include a local Windows-based Terminal Server client as well as optional local terminal-emulation software. Windows-based terminals will require as little as 4 MB of RAM and 4 MB of ROM and will be priced in the range of $500.

Unlike network computers (NCs), Windows-based terminals require no downloading of applications or operating systems from the server. With a Windows-based terminal solution, the “super-thin” software running on the client device requires approximately the same amount of code as a dumb terminal – only enough to boot the machine, connect it to the network, and

display applications running off the server. Also unlike with NCs, customers will have the flexibility to buy compatible terminals and servers from many hardware vendors.

Next Milestones

Windows-based Terminal Server Beta 1, released today, provides a development beta for testing infrastructure and compatibility. Microsoft will determine a date for Beta 2 based upon customer feedback from Beta 1. Pricing, packaging and licensing for the Windows-based Terminal Server have not been determined.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing.

Microsoft, Windows, Windows NT and Win32 are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

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