Deal joins Microsoft Office and Linux
- By John K. Waters
The fruits of a recent collaboration between
Windows-emulation software maker CodeWeavers and application access software
provider Tarantella is making it possible for Linux servers to host Microsoft
Office and other Windows-based productivity applications for multiple users. The
two companies announced last week that they would deliver an Internet-optimized
version of CodeWeavers' CrossOver Office Server Edition that
integrates Tarantella's Enterprise 3 thin-client server.
St. Paul, Minn.-based CodeWeavers Inc. (http://www.codeweavers.com) is
one of the corporate backers of The WINE Project, an open-source software
initiative that allows Linux to run Microsoft Windows applications as if they
were running natively. WINE creates a Windows compatibility layer on top of
Linux and Unix OSes.
CodeWeavers' CrossOver Office Server Edition product
allows users to run Windows productivity apps in a distributed thin-client environment under Linux, without the need
for Microsoft operating system licenses.
Tarantella Inc. (http://www.tarantella.com),
Santa Cruz, Calif., is a supplier of secure application access software similar
to the popular Citrix product from Citrix Systems Inc. Tarantella's Enterprise 3
server is a thin-client product that allows companies to deploy legacy
applications through a Web browser. Unlike Citrix (http://www.citrix.com
product does not require a specialized client.
The combined offering of the two companies makes it possible for Linux or
Unix users to access applications such as Word and Outlook through a Web browser
with no special client software. According to Guy Churchward, director of
strategic alliances at Tarantella, they are providing a lower cost alternative
to Microsoft's Windows Terminal Server or Citrix, both of which allow Linux
clients to run Microsoft Office from a server.
''Citrix and Microsoft Terminal Server licenses typically
cost hundreds of dollars per user,'' Churchward said in a statement. ''The
CrossOver Office Server Edition, optimized for the Internet, allows cost savings
and convenience while eliminating the challenge of CAL licensing procedures and providing freedom from
managing Microsoft Terminal Server.''
Microsoft Windows Terminal Server and Citrix also require
that the server run Windows, which adds additional licensing fees for each
client. In an effort to give users an opportunity to test drive the less
well-known duo's new solution, the firms plan to deliver an Internet-optimized
version of CrossOver Office Server Edition, including a free single-user license, to Tarantella
Enterprise 3 customers.
''Our mission has always been to help leverage Windows
technology on Linux,'' said CodeWeavers CEO and founder Jeremy White. ''Through
the partnership with Tarantella, we are now able to deliver a cost-effective
solution to new markets and expand our customer base to include users who need access to their Windows applications securely over the
Internet from any device.''
The two companies are offering a demo version of
Crossover Office Server Edition for Tarantella Enterprise 3. Versions licensed
for up to 500 users are available at http://www.tarantella.com/codeweavers.
John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached