IBM last week rolled out a software suite for Windows NT, but despite the apparent embrace of the NT platform, IBM executives left no doubt that Microsoft remains a software nemesis.
A side-by-side installation comparing IBM Suite for Windows NT and Microsoft Back Office found Back Office lacking, with confusing instructions and at least one reboot necessary. Adding to the sense of a love-hate relationship, an IBM software executive said surveys find Windows NT to be unreliable.
But Steve Mills, general manager of IBM soft-ware solutions, expressed IBM's commitment to NT: "We are dead serious about it."
Asked why IBM would create software to support a platform it described as unreliable, Mills responded that IBM's suite will make NT work better.
There are two versions of the software suite. The basic suite is for branch offices, medium-size businesses and autonomous departments. The Enterprise Suite is for large companies that want to integrate NT into core systems and also to use core systems data in NT departmental applications.
Both versions include Intel's LANDesk Management Suite, which gives a systems administrator remote control over all of the Intel-based PCs and servers on a local area network. The IBM suite also includes the Lotus Domino messaging and application server.
Later this year, IBM plans to release an enhanced suite offering Java capabilities. The company also will release the suite for the AIX, OS/2, HP-UX and Solaris platforms later this year.
One objective of the suite, as well as of various other products announced recently, is to let developers with low-level skills create applications.
"One skill set serves all," Mills said. A customer who understands one product line will be able to use a range of products," he said.
At the same time, businesses need products that can pull all of their platforms together, particularly because the plethora of available platforms is likely to flourish.
"I don't think there's any such thing as a customer standardising on anything," Mills said.www.ibm.com.au