WinView

WinView was a direct descendant of Multiuser.  It incorporated the ability to make OS/2 multi-user and also the ability to run existing DOS and Windows applications.

WinView was a name generated by Tyrone Pike (one of our board members at that time).  The name seemed fairly simple but it got a message across that previous names did not.  I always admired how quickly this name caught on and in reality it was the precusor to the WinFrame and MetaFrame naming system that became even more popular.

WinView included a copy of Windows 3.1 along with the Novell Netware client software.  With WinView it was possible to support at least 10 users on one system with the ability to run DOS and Windows applications.  About this time Pentiums were coming into strength and the common resource model was really showing some benefits.

Customers saw value in being able to run their existing applications remotely.  By this time, there were plenty of Windows applications (16-bit) being run along with the older text-based DOS applications.  In Multiuser, it was impossible to run the DOS applications due to the design restrictions of OS/2 1.x design.

In 1994, Citrix added the option of doing TCP/IP to WinView.  This kicked things into high gear since it was then possible to do Internet transactions (web browsing and ICA connections).  The message was strong enough to win Citrix a major award in NetWorld Interop in 1994.

The lessons learned in WinView were incorporated into WinFrame.  In fact, much of the common design existed for ICA and the stack framework.

WinView’s greatest weakness was probably being based on OS/2.  The market was really anti-OS/2 and it was commonly thought that it would be better to base it on NT instead.  WinFrame fulfilled this wish.

WinView is credited with making the company viable and introducing our company to many new environments.  It gave us the time to finish the first version of WinFrame and also the ability to go public in late 1995.  In general, it added the missing pieces that Multiuser didn’t have.

Live near Brisbane, Australia. Software developer currently focused on iOS and Android. Avid Google Local Guide

Posted in Citrix History
2 comments on “WinView
  1. brianos says:

    hi! tell me I’m not imagining things… aroundabouts 1989/90, (either you guys or someone else, I really can’t remember), supported a plug in MCA/EISA card which hosted a nmber of 8086 processors which one could use winview to host multiple OS/2 processes on? Im sure it was you guys..

  2. jeffreymuir says:

    There have been a number of add-on boards in the past for Citrix products. Most of these boards were used to speed up communication between the host and the client. Some were used to support many asynchronous connections to the clients. DIGI is an example of this. These vendors were very important for the initial success of Citrix.

    Without this special hardware support, it would have been almost impossible to support terminal users similar to how Unix does it.

    I have heard that some of these multiprocessing boards actually had processors that would do much of the work of communication without need of the core CPU. I think this is what you might have heard about.

    Citrix back then never produced any hardware devices. It is only fairly recently that Citrix has become interested in selling hardware appliances.

    WinView natively supported running multiple user sessions and processes without anything more special than the need for a 386 or above. It took advantage of the native support for Virtual Dos Machines built into OS/2 2.x. Obviously Citrix added the bit to make it multiuser capable.

    I hope this answers your question.

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