If you use Windows 2000 Server Terminal Services, you might wonder why you’d care about Citrix MetaFrame XP. The new product has several benefits for clients and servers.

On the client side, MetaFrame XP can work with clients that don’t use the Win32 OS. The product also provides high-color and true-color support and can transfer sound to the client desktop. Applications that display through MetaFrame XP’s ICA protocol can use Seamless Windows, a feature that puts the application into a window that fits in the client’s display area, rather than run in full-screen mode. The ICA protocol also supports keyboard and mouse buffering, which makes terminal sessions over slow connections seem more responsive. Published applications can be displayed as shortcuts on Win32 clients’ desktops or as links on a Web page.

On the server side, MetaFrame XP can support load balancing according to a variety of rules. The product also supports automatic printer-driver management, bandwidth throttling, and integration with MetaFrame for UNIX (so users can access UNIX and Windows applications from one browser window). MetaFrame XP also offers tools that simplify application installation on terminal servers.