The WinFrame thin-client software allows a desktop computer to act much like a network computer because it relies on a powerful server for processing power and can run typical Windows applications on the server. News of the software update follows Citrix's announcement in May that it is working with Microsoft (MSFT) to develop technology for multi-user, thin-client computing.
WinFrame 1.7 will offer improvements such as new data compression techniques that minimize network traffic and the ability to store frequently displayed graphics on the client computer instead of repeatedly downloading them, according to Citrix. Optional software will help balance network traffic between available servers to ensure that all servers are being efficiently used.
Security will be enhanced, Citrix says, by allowing system administrators to allow access to files, directories, and areas of the network only to specified users.
Applications, for example, can be made available to a server by a mouse click. The published application then appears as an icon on the user's desktop. Optional software will allow encryption of data between the client and server computer for secure transmission of information.
Citrix says plug-in software for Netscape Communications' Navigator and an ActiveX control for a Microsoft's Internet Explorer will allow the browsers to launch Windows applications. This gives users the ability to get existing applications over a company intranet without rewriting the application for different computers.
The company also said the new software will be compatible with future versions of the client and server software they will be developing with Microsoft. Microsoft will sell a server product, code-named "Hydra," while Citrix will sell its next-generation client-server technologies, code-named "Picasso," that will run on the Hydra server.
WinFrame 1.7, slated for availability in the third quarter of 1997, will be offered at no charge to existing WinFrame 1.6 customers, the company said.