Microsoft warns channel to curb NT 5.0 backlash

Microsoft warns channel to curb NT 5.0 backlash

Microsoft officials have begun hosing down channel expectations for NT 5.0 in a bid to avoid a user backlash when the product is finally released next year.

ARN has learnt that Thomas Lee, Microsoft's US-based program manager, personal/business systems group training, told delegates to "lower the expectations" of users migrating to NT 5.0 during a briefing on Microsoft's flagship product at last week's TechEd conference here.

"He told us to lower the expectations of our users beforehand," Wayne Harper, software technical manager at Symbol Technologies, claims. "So basically, if it's [Workstation] going to take 15 seconds for them to boot up, tell them it will take 25 seconds so they don't get frustrated."

Harper also trialled NT 5.0 Beta 2 at the conference and said the new version will require faster processors and increased memory capacity to run effectively.

"NT 5.0 is slower than NT 4.0," Harper said. "It will ideally need at least a 300MHz processor and 128MB of memory to run at a similar speed to NT 4.0."

Harper and a number of other delegates also cautioned that network administrators face a harder time migrating to NT 5.0 than NT 4.0.

"There are big migration issues with NT 5.0," one representative, who asked to remain anonymous, said.

One key issue highlighted was that Windows NT 5.0 Server will not operate with NT 4.0 Workstation - only Windows 95, Windows 98 and NT 5.0 Workstation.

The delegates ARN spoke to also warned users will have difficulties running NT 5.0 and NT 4.0 concurrently, with NT 5.0's reliance on its Active Directory component deeming many features useless for NT 4.0 systems.

They also claim that interoperability with Novell's NetWare 5.0 will be more laborious.

Microsoft to sacrifice clustering in NT 5.0?by ARN staffSYDNEY - Despite Microsoft's recent acquisition of a load-balancing and fault-tolerance software vendor, a source close to the company claims NT 5.0 will initially ship without clustering services.

"At a recent overseas briefing we were basically told all of the clustering stuff is being pulled out of the ship version to get it to market sooner," the source told ARN.

However, Peter Moore, senior product marketing manager for Microsoft Australia, denies the allegation.

Moore claims that in recent discussions with his US-based colleagues, the clustering in NT 5.0 Enterprise Edition was discussed and, to his knowledge, will be in the first version that ships.

But Moore is less certain about the implications of Microsoft's announcement last month that it has purchased Valence Research, the US-based developer of Convoy Cluster Software.

It has not yet been determined how and when the software will be adopted into the Microsoft product line, he said.

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