By Bob Trott and Ephraim Schwartz
Posted at 6:12 AM PT, Apr 12, 1997
Microsoft is splitting Windows NT into three parts in order to implement
its 64-bit version of NT and make the OS credible as a platform for the
largest mainframe and data-warehouse applications.
This high-end version of NT -- one of three iterations that the company
is planning to release after NT 5.0's delivery in 1998 -- will include
features needed to run data centers, according to Moshe T. Dunie, vice
president of Microsoft's Windows Operating Systems Division. It will be
written in 64-bit code to run on Intel's 64-bit Merced processor, which
is due for release next year.
The other two NT family members will target consumer users and business
users, replacing Windows 95 and upgrading Windows NT, respectively. All
three versions will share the same kernel, Dunie said this week at the
WinHEC conference in San Francisco.
"PC-based servers will be getting into the mainframe space with the
64-bit OS," Dunie said. The industrial-strength Windows NT version will
include features such as hierarchical storage management, volume
management, and disaster recovery, according to Dunie.
"Disaster recovery doesn't just mean copying the data. It means the
ability to restore and run massive amounts of data effectively," Dunie
noted. "For a long time, people said the mainframe is going away; it
didn't. But with this OS and IA 64 [Intel's 64-bit architecture], it may
The consumer version of NT will have "friendlier" security "because you
don't want a child to access and wipe out your files," Dunie said.
One IT manager who has been briefed on Microsoft's plans said that
reinforcing NT with high-end features and coupling it with Intel's
Merced processor could make the operating system a viable answer for
"You keep hearing that Unix is going away, but for large applications
like those by PeopleSoft and SAP, NT is still not ready," said the IT
manager, who requested anonymity. "If NT 6.0 on the Merced ships, then
you conceivably could run mission-critical applications on NT."
In the meantime, Microsoft will add improved symmetrical multiprocessing
to NT 5.0.
"NT 4.0 scaled well to four processors; NT 5.0 will scale well to eight
processors," Dunie said. However, some observers were skeptical of
"I would hope they would get up to eight processors, because they're
still well behind what Unix systems can do," said Dwight Davis, editor
of Windows Watcher, based in Redmond, Wash.
Before Microsoft releases its NT trio, the company will ship a
small-business version of NT Server this year. Code-named Sam, this
version will include modem pooling, fax-server capabilities, and a proxy
server to connect to the Internet with one IP address and phone line.
Time exists so everything doesn't happen at once,
Space exists so everything doesn't happen to you.
<> email@example.com <>