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VNU Net: Microsoft bows to pressure from Unix users

Apr 26, 2000, 15:20 (19 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by James Middleton)

By James Middleton, VNU Net

Microsoft has admitted that it cannot dominate the enterprise alone, and has boosted its support for Unix integration.

The company last week said that the next release of Windows Services for Unix (SFU) would tighten its integration with the high-end OS.

It has acknowledged for the first time that enterprise users will stick with the Unix and Linux platforms. Srini Koppolu, managing director of Microsoft's SFU development centre, said: "It's strategic for us to move Windows into corporates that have Unix as well, whether we like it or not. Most corporates have mixed environments and there is a need for the two operating systems to interoperate."

By incorporating the Interix product that Microsoft acquired when it purchased Software Systems last September, SFU version 2 will allow users to port Unix based scripts and applications over to the Windows platform. Support extends to all major flavours of Unix and Linux. "A key message that came back to us, is that users want an integrated suite that takes care of the typical needs of interoperability," said Koppolu.

Phil Dawson, analyst at the Meta Group, said that increased interoperability with Unix was driven by its realisation that users had mixed enterprise environments.

Microsoft was also forced into a volte-face last week over its Windows ME consumer OS. It had originally stripped out all networking elements, claiming that users did not need them at home. But it has now backed down in the face of user opposition and said that Windows ME will now contain a NetWare client.

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