IBM Ships New Thin Client Software, Hardware

Like just about every other thin-client terminal maker, IBM is shipping software that enables its Network Station terminals to access Microsoft’s Windows Terminal Server. However, some enhancements are sure to please AS/400 managers as well.

The latest version of Network Station Manager (Version 3.0) includes national language support for 30 languages, improved ICA client support, and LPR/LPD streaming support for network printing, making it easier to print from a Network Station.

IBM also unveiled a Twinax-enabled edition of its Series 300 Network Station. "We still have many customers with fully wired Twinax facilities," says Bill Wiktor, AS/400 product development team representative in Rochester, Minn. "They couldn’t take advantage of Network Stations up to this point."

Fulfilling its role as a Windows-based terminal, Network Station Manager supports MetaFrame from Citrix Systems Inc. (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.), designed to open Windows NT Terminal Server Edition to heterogeneous environments. MetaFrame is supported by Windows NT Server 4.0, running on the IPCS card attached to the AS/400.

In addition, IBM is shipping a new version of Lotus’ eSuite Workplace desktop environment for the Network Station. While eSuite was originally released in February, "we’ve remodified it to work on release 3.0 of the Network Station Manager," says Wiktor. Because e-Suite is Java based, however, it will only run on Series 1000 of Network Station, he adds.

IBM also recently announced a deal for resellers that includes additional software from Lotus and Citrix on Network Stations under a "try and buy" marketing program. Shipments of Network Station Manager software will include MetaFrame, as well as WinCenter for MetaFrame from Network Computing Devices Inc. (Mountain View, Calif.), which enables X clients to access Windows-based applications, and provides increased systems administration support. The package will also include SmartSuite from Lotus Development Corp., pre-configured to run with Windows NT 4.0 Terminal Server Edition.