Citrix has ceased supporting Windows NT 4.0 with release 2 of MetaFrame XP but says NT users won’t be left in the lurch.Release 2 runs on Windows 2000 but the software can talk to NT 4.0 servers and provide them with Windows 2000-only features, says Citrix Asia-Pacific product manager Mike Abel.
“Some of the features will only run on Windows 2000 — for example, Citrix Secure Gateway,” says Abel.
“But if you run that on Windows 2000 and have another 10 servers running Windows NT, you can integrate those server farms so the NT servers can use the features of release 2.”
Abel says Microsoft has already announced that NT 4.0 will only be supported until the end of the year anyway. “So it makes sense and lets Microsoft see our strong commitment to the Windows 2000 platform.”
Two weeks ago Citrix announced that it had struck a deal with Microsoft to allow it access to Windows server code for another three years. Abel says Citrix’s decision to stop supporting NT 4.0 wasn’t part of that deal.
“We were finding that a lot of the take-up of MetaFrame XP was going on to Windows 2000 servers.”
New features in release 2 include delegated administration, whereby users can be given administrative ability in certain areas; user collaboration, whereby many users can view and collaborate on the same MetaFrame session; smartcard support for log-in and authentication; content redirection, whereby users can have email attachments open on either the client or server; expanded internet proxy for users of Citrix’s ICA architecture; enhanced monitoring abilities for administrators; improved IBM DB2 support; and up to 50% improvement in download speeds for ICA clients.
Abel says there has been a high take-up — 70% to 80% worldwide — of Citrix’s two-year-old Subscription Advantage licensing programme, which gives users all upgrades and feature releases in exchange for an annual fee.
Abel says Citrix doesn’t have plans to bring out MetaFrame XP running on Linux, though he says MetaFrame already supports Linux clients.
“Linux would be very simple for us, but at the moment the market is very strongly using Microsoft product.”
There is a MetaFrame release 2 beta for Microsoft.Net.