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Windows time-sharing planned for Net

Soon, users will be able to "time-share" applications over the Internet.

Wyse Technology is planning to combine something new with something old: an Internet terminal that will give users the ability to "time-share" Windows applications.

With the next release of its Winterm "dumb terminal" for Windows in mid-June, Wyse will announce deals with at least three Internet service providers that give users the option of renting Windows applications on the ISP's server as well as storing their work with the service provider. The application would not actually be downloaded to the subscriber's terminal but will execute on the server.

The announcement will be a return to the concept of time-sharing, the way that users used to connect to mainframes from dumb terminals to run applications remotely.

The new Winterm terminal incorporates technology from Citrix Systems called the intelligent console architecture (ICA), which provides the protocols needed to let remote terminals run Windows applications over low-bandwidth networks.

Wyse is working with at least ten ISPs, including Netcom, to bring time-sharing back in style, according to Jeff McNaught, director and general manager of advanced platforms at Wyse.

McNaught said that the ISPs will determine their own pricing and billing systems but warned that per-hour charges for application time-sharing probably won't be popular: "Simplicity is the order of the day on the Internet." McNaught suggested a scenario closer to premium cable movie channels, which compete based on the number and variety of films offered. ISPs might end up competing with their offerings of Windows applications.

The terminal itself will cost about $500, according to Wyse.

Wyse has endorsed Oracle's Network Computer Reference Profile, a set of recently announced guidelines for Internet terminal, and will launch another "Javacentric" Internet terminal in the fourth quarter of 1996.

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