In a blow to Microsoft's NT operating system, Toshiba has licensed Sun's Solaris for its Intel-based servers, launched in the US last week.
NCR, Fujitsu and Siemens Nixdorf have already licensed Solaris for their Intel servers, and this latest announcement is continuing a trend that will help see off the threat of NT, according to Julian Lomberg, Solaris product marketing manager at Sun.
"For line of business applications and large databases, people are still using Unix because NT has not demonstrated the uptime and stability this class of server needs," he explained. "OEMs have to recognise that if they want to penetrate this market."
However, Ed Thompson, analyst at Dataquest, believes users will reject Solaris on Intel. "I doubt customers are going to buy it," he said. "Solaris is really the third choice Unix for Intel, behind SCO and Linux. We have not seen many large organisations interested in it. It does not have enough applications and is not supported well by Sun."
Mark Raphael, analyst at the Meta Group, argued that Toshiba made the right choice in using Solaris, but said he was surprised the company was considering using Unix in the first place. "Unix is becoming more and more of a high-end operating system and the idea that Toshiba will be a serious player in the Unix market is fantasy unless it radically changes its business model," he claimed. "It is years away from being a serious player."
Raphael said Solaris would not be destroyed by the increasing market share of Windows NT. "I think that Sun will have some successful market remaining, but vendors such as Compaq have not been successful in shipping Unix servers," he said.
Toshiba is assessing the success of its US server launch and considering bringing servers to the UK market some time in the next year, a spokeswoman said.
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