The market should ignore the hype surrounding Microsoft's Windows NT and recognise that it will take at least five years for the operating system (OS) to compete effectively against Unix, according to Susan Frankle, director of servers research at IDC.
Although users are buying NT for use as a file server, print server and for basic Internet applications, the OS will never be all things to all people and there will be no dominant operating environment by the Year 2000.
But, Frankle added: "Unix is the largest operating environment and still will be in the Year 2000. Users are still getting some mileage out of their current environments, so there isn't a compelling reason to switch."
Moreover, it is very expensive to switch server environments, due in part to high staff re-training costs, she said.
Frankle also attested it was a myth that NT Server was the platform of choice for Internet applications, particularly transaction-oriented ones, and that most applications were optimised for the OS these days.
While most suppliers had ported their packages over to the platform, they had not yet tweaked them to ensure the best performance.
"Windows NT is immature and is not up to all the challenges it faces. It takes 10 years to make a fully functional operating environment and NT is only five years in the making," Frankle said.
The operating system had little acceptance outside of the Intel-based world, lacked the scaleability and management functions of Unix, and came with few value-added services or support offerings for enterprise customers, she concluded.
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