Tarantella updates software, launches new program

The Santa Cruz Operation Inc. (SCO), recently reorganized and renamed as Tarantella Inc., Monday released an updated version of its flagship middleware product and announced a new partner program aimed at certifying that specific hardware and software products from third parties work properly with Tarantella products.

SCO officially became Tarantella when the company switched its moniker Monday after completing a deal with Caldera International Inc. Caldera took on SCO's professional-services and server-software businesses. Meanwhile, SCO rebranded itself as Tarantella, hoping to mark a shift from its Unix operating-system roots toward developing middleware for connecting server-side applications with various types of client devices. SCO and Caldera shareholders approved the deal last week, but had to wait until Monday for all of the legal loose ends to be tied.

Tarantella has existed as a SCO business unit for the last four years and has driven the development of middleware that adds a variety of Internet functions to existing software applications. Tarantella claims its software will simplify for system administrators the linking of server-side applications with any type of client device.

Along with its rebranding, the company announced version 3.1 of its flagship Enterprise 3 software. Tarantella claims that the new software comes with a variety of security tools, printing enhancements and new features for giving users different levels of network access. Specifically, version 3.1 has been designed to make it easier to deliver server-based applications to a variety of client devices, allowing, for example, remote users to access applications on the company's network.

These improvements are in line with the product's overall purpose of making applications sitting on a server more manageable and more easily accessible via browser-equipped clients of all types, according to Andrew Bovingdon, director of product marketing at Tarantella.

The product supports Microsoft Corp. Windows, Linux, Unix and IBM Corp.'s OS/400. It is available starting Tuesday for a 30-day trial at http://www.tarantella.com/download/. The estimated cost per user starts at US$299 with most customers expected to deploy the software to more than 1,000 users.

For smaller deployments, Tarantella also announced Enterprise 3, Starter for Linux software. This product is aimed at companies with about 10 to 50 users that run Linux on a relatively small scale. This product should be ready by late July or August, starting at $999 for 10 users.

Tarantella has also formed a new group called the Tarantella Technology Alliance (TAG) that the company hopes will help set certified standards for different hardware and software combinations. The vendor has drawn the likes of Sun Microsystems Inc., IBM Corp. and Compaq Computer Corp. to the program. The TAG program is similar to Sun's Sun Tone certification where users can purchase pre-configured servers with certified software already on the machine. The group currently has about 10 members.

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