Tarantella moves closer to Windows

The latest release of Tarantella brings the Web-enabling software closer to a Windows release

Tarantella, the company that was created last year when SCO sold its operating systems division to Caldera, is moving closer to Windows with the latest release of its eponymous software, which is used for Web-enabling legacy applications. With the release of Tarantella 3.2, the company has improved security and added support for Windows NT domain authentication and Web server authentication. This will allow for faster, seamless integration with Windows systems, and could signify an impending launch of a Windows version of the software, which is currently only available on Unix and Linux operating systems. Tarentella's chief executive Doug Michels has mooted a Windows version of the software in the past. Speaking to ZDNet UK recently, he said the company is operating-system agnostic. "We run on Unix and Linux because that seems to be what our customers want," he said. Tarantella tends to be bought by companies that run mixed operating system environments. But, said Michels, "as we grow and get less picky a Windows version will be very important and we will do it. It is on the list with all the other things on the list. We will do an NT-based version." However, said Michels, the agnostic vision ends there. "We had one customer who wanted to Web-enable Apple Mac applications. Well, we support Macs on the client end through a browser, but not at the application end because Apple has no remote protocol like RPD for Windows." For the time being, most of Tarantella's energy will be going into security. "We're looking at supporting different types of authentication," said Michels. In particular, with the release of Tarantella 3.2, the company has added support for two-factor user authentication, which means that instead of users just supplying a password to use applications run from a remote server, they can be required to supply a physical key. In version 3.2, Tarantella has added support for RSA SecurID, a two-factor authentication system. SecurID physical keys include a key fob that generates a new code every 60 seconds and a card that performs a similar function. Future additions to the software are likely to include secure instant messaging. "We're starting to look at putting Yahoo! IM functionality into Tarantella," said Michels. "It's the logical place to put some of these functions -- we're in the customer's browser providing access to their secure corporate infrastructure." The company is currently looking at different options to see what would make sense. If Tarantella does not build a secure IM client, and corporates do not provide it for their users, said Michels, "they will use Yahoo!, and that is not secure. Instant messaging will be one of our main thrusts now."


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