Tarantella Acquires New Moon In Bid To Outdo Citrix


Tarantella last week said it would acquire New Moon Systems to expand its product line and more effectively compete against Citrix Systems,the dominant player in the server-based computing market.

Under the terms of the deal, which is expected to close this week, Tarantella will purchase all of the stock in privately held New Moon in exchange for nearly 8 million shares of Tarantella common stock. In addition, Tarantella guarantees that New Moon shareholders will receive a minimum royalty of $2 million over a three-year period on the acquired products.

San Jose, Calif.-based New Moon targets small and midsize customers, as well as departments of larger customers, with its Canaveral iQ product line. It markets the products as a simpler, cheaper alternative to Citrix's MetaFrame platform for hosting and centrally managing Windows applications in a Windows Terminal Services environment.

Tarantella's Enterprise 3 software runs on Unix or Linux and provides enterprise customers with access to Unix, Linux, mainframe, AS/400 and Windows Terminal Server applications.

With the acquisition, Tarantella and its channel partners will have a product line to offer customers looking to run server-based computing environments on Windows systems, said Guy Churchward, chief evangelist at Tarantella, Santa Cruz, Calif. "That's a space we've inherently been walking away from," Churchward said.

Tarantella plans to maintain the Canaveral iQ brand name and operate the New Moon business as a separate unit, retaining the New Moon's channel support infrastructure, he said. The vendor also plans to maintain New Moon's channel program, and blend the two programs over time, Churchward said.

"New Moon has a pretty good product, but it was still it its infancy," said Chris Stolley, senior account executive at Apparatus Sales, a Denver-based New Moon solution provider. "This will round out both of their product offerings and make them more competitive with Citrix."

Churchward said the bulk of New Moon's employees will join Tarantella, including President and CEO Marc Lowe.