A mutually beneficial relationship
The deal does not signify any product strategy changes for the companies, Kaefer said. It merely reflects the reality of the need for these types of business arrangements. "If you think about what we are doing in the Xbox areafor example, video gamesthere is no doubt that Autodesks leadership in 3-D [three-dimensional] graphics rendering has some value for some things we want to do," Kaefer said. "That also carries through to other product lines, like when we think about Longhorn and some of the graphical user interface types of experiences wed like to see there." Marcia Sterling, a senior vice president at Autodesk, in San Rafael, Calif., said the company is committed to pursuing technologies that improve its products and services.Also last month, Microsoft and Citrix, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., announced a five-year agreement that includes a new technology collaboration pact to enhance the overall extensibility of Windows Terminal Server, the formalization of Citrixs continued access to Microsoft Windows Server source code and patent cross-licensing between the two companies. The agreement opens the door for further improvements in the Citrix MetaFrame Access Suite, which runs on Windows Terminal Server, providing customers with enhanced collaboration to achieve the continuity necessary to migrate to MetaFrame Presentation Server on the next version of Windows Server. That server software is expected to be released in 2007. "Improved integration with Microsofts server operating systems will help us deliver solutions that are simpler to implement and manage and will provide a smooth migration path for our mutual customers," said Mark Templeton, president and CEO of Citrix. The agreement expands the collaboration between the two companies, which started in 1997 when Citrix licensed components of its technology to Microsoft as the base for Terminal Server functionality. Microsofts Kaefer riled many members of the open-source and Linux communities in November when he said he believed that all Linux and open-source software developers would over time be forced to license intellectual property from other vendors, regardless of how complicated it may be to execute under the GPL (GNU General Public License).
"Many Microsoft and Autodesk products are already tightly integrated. We share many joint customers, and were pleased to expand this mutually beneficial relationship," Sterling said.