Big Blue has pulled the rug from under Microsoft by announcing that neither it nor its Power PC partners will continue to support Windows NT on the Power PC platform.
Ian Roscow, a product specialist at the IBM AIX group, said: 'It's a joint decision between IBM, Motorola and Bull. Essentially the market demand wasn't justified. Our users are not disappointed. Originally, it was designed to be an option for Power PC users.'
Roscow said the RS/6000 group will now concentrate on selling AIX for its Power PC machines. He would not reveal how many millions of dollars MS had spent on developing NT for the platform and said the decision had no real significance for IBM. 'This isn't a disaster for IBM, it's a logical move. We have 64-bit technology using Apache on the way.'
The move will not affect sales, he claimed, nor had IBM entirely washed its hands of NT. 'We are targeting NT for workstations,' he said.
Steve Walker, OS/2 evangelist at IBM UK, said his company had made a conscious decision at the beginning of this year not to continue development for the Power PC. 'If, under some bizarre circumstances, it emerged that NT was the most successful OS, I'm sure we'd support that too.'
Roscow would not comment on the impact the decision to ditch NT for the Power PC platform will have on other ventures, including front-end NT for AS/400s.
Two weeks ago MS denied that support for NT under the Power PC would disappear. Neither it, Bull nor Motorola would comment on IBM's decision at press time.
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