Claiming a significant shift in the technical workstation market from Unix to Windows NT, Intel and Microsoft are teaming up to ensure NT maintains its momentum.
The Workstation Leadership Forum, a Microsoft-Intel event held last week in the US, was designed to address four areas the vendors want to beef up: NT's robustness, the small number of native applications for the NT Workstation, migration, and interoperability.
As expected, the vendors announced Version 2.0 of the Accelerated Graphics Port (AGP) optimised for workstation applications, which should be ready by mid-1999, officials said.
Also unveiled was a program to help applica-tions developers move more easily from Unix to NT development, which includes consultant services, support, training and discounted Intel-based workstations. This initiative, called the Migration Assistance Program, will also prepare developers for Intel's 64-bit Merced processor, which is due in the second half of 1999. Microsoft expects to have a 64-bit version of NT ready when Merced ships.
The moves come as Microsoft is in the midst of a major foray into Unix territory. Earlier this year, IDC released a study indicating that NT Workstation sales outpaced Unix Workstation sales by a count of 1.3 million to 660,000. For the year, NT workstation shipments rose 80 per cent, and Unix workstation sales dropped 7 per cent. NT also won the server-shipment competition.
ÒThe numbers are another indication of the increasing penetration of Windows NT into areas that were once the sole domain of Unix," the IDC study stated.
Meanwhile, Microsoft announced earlier this year that it will add an internal development team to work on Component Object Model (COM)-to-Unix interoperability. The company also released a version of Internet Explorer 4.0 for Sun Solaris.