Citrix Systems Inc. announced a new three-year deal with Microsoft Corp. on Thursday for the client software maker to continue to have access to Windows server source code.

Citrix’s software allows software applications running on servers to be accessed by users on workstations. Businesses save software licensing costs on workstations by keeping the expensive applications on servers, to be accessed when needed.

As Microsoft periodically modifies and updates its server software, Citrix’s developers must also adjust its MetaFrame product to remain interoperable. Microsoft exacted a price for access to its source code under a work-for-hire provision in a previous agreement.

“Unlike the May 1997 agreement, there are no work-for-hire provisions and therefore no financial remuneration,” said Bob Kruger, Citrix’s senior vice president, product development and chief technology officer, in a conference call recorded Thursday. “This agreement is strictly for access to the source code and interfaces to enable Citrix to more timely provide enterprise-class enhancements.

The Fort Lauderdale, Fla., software developer doesn’t need Microsoft’s source code to keep up, but the company will adjust better to changes with continued access, Kruger said. The three-year deal gives Citrix access to Windows NT, Windows 2000 and .NET server code.

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