Microsoft is working on a new multi-user operating system, code-named "Hydra," that the company is targeting at transaction- and task-based workers in a networked environment. Hydra consists of the Hydra Server, based on Windows NT Server Multiclient, Windows CE-based clients called Hydra Clients, and the Hydra Remote Protocol. Hydra will enter beta testing by the end of the year.

Hydra Client software will also run on 16- and 32-bit Windows operating systems, Windows terminals, NCs, and UNIX systems. The Hydra Client stores enough information to boot up, establish a connection with a server, and put up a user interface. It should require only 4MB of RAM and 4MB of ROM. Non-Windows clients will use Citrix technology. The Hydra Server product will be integrated with BackOffice.

"It is safe to think of \[Hydra Server\] as another member of the BackOffice family," said John Frederiksen, Microsoft's Hydra product manager