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Tarantella Set to Challenge Citrix.

Tarantella Inc has now closed its acquisition of New Moon Software Inc, and is aiming to unsettle server-based computing software king Citrix Systems Inc, according to founder and CEO, Doug Michels.

"In effect we've now created for the first time a company that can challenge Citrix on a worldwide basis with their main product line," Michels told ComputerWire. "Citrix has had a de facto monopoly, but I think we've changed the landscape of the market."

Michels has cause for enthusiasm after Santa Cruz, California-based Tarantella's $5.5m acquisition of New Moon. The purchase brings in Microsoft Corp Windows expertise to complement Tarantella's Unix experience, and gives the company a two-pronged strategy for targeting Citrix.

"We both compete with Citrix, but to our knowledge Tarantella has never competed with New Moon," Michels said. While Tarantella has in the past focused on high-end server-based computing requirements, he said, New Moon has positioned itself at the low end.

"Microsoft has put a lot of Citrix technology into Windows. What New Moon observed was that while they did the protocol and multi-user things right, they hadn't got around to things like management, provisioning, security and load-balancing," he said.

While Citrix offers this functionality in its MetaFrame product line, this also includes functionality already implemented by Microsoft, while New Moon's Canaveral iQ product merely extends that Microsoft functionality, said Michels. "You don't have to pay for everything, and you don't have to rip out RDP [Microsoft's Remote Desktop Protocol] and replace it with ICA [Citrix's equivalent]," he said.

Additionally, Michels said Tarantella is now better positioned through its ability to offer customers a choice. "We have two products designed for different parts of the market rather than a single product stretched to reach both ends," he said. The company will look to keep that advantage, he said, by maintaining two products, although he does foresee a combination of functionality and development.

"We have a lot of opportunities over time to use common technologies across both products," he said. He added that New Moon had done a lot of work on printing subsystems that could be transferred to Tarantella Enterprise, while Tarantella had focused on SSL VPN technologies, which could be adapted to expand New Moon. "Over time we'll look to modularize both products for research and development purposes," Michels said. "But we want to keep the focus of both products."

While New Moon's head office staff will be moving from San Jose to Santa Cruz, Michels said that Tarantella will also make use of New Moon's purpose-built Indian research and development center through cross-fertilization with Tarantella's Leeds, UK-based R&D center.
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Publication:Computergram International
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 10, 2003
Words:436
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