NCR has dealt a blow to Microsoft NT by agreeing to license Sun?s Solaris Unix operating systems for its Worldmark server line.
Sun will also incorporate features of NCR?s Unix variant, MP-Ras, into future versions of Solaris. It sees the NCR deal as a significant win in its battle to lure Intel OEMs to Solaris, in the run-up to the release of Intel?s 64-bit Merced technology.
NCR, which previously pinned its server strategy firmly on NT, said it will sell Solaris? 64-bit capability alongside its 32-bit NT systems, but the deal appears to be a step back from its former commitment to NT.
The move showed that NCR is convinced it can move its Unix customers to Sun?s 64-bit architecture and is not prepared to wait for NT to catch up, or for customers to be convinced that NT will handle enterprise installations.
In 1999, Intel and Hewlett Packard are due to ship their 64-bit Merced chips to customers, including NCR. Bill Eisenman, senior VP at NCR, said: ?We knew we had to change our underlying technology to change to 64-bit, but we will continue to support both NT and Unix.?
Sun CEO Scott McNealy claimed the race to supply an OS had consolidated. ?It?s NT versus Solaris,? he said.
Analysts dismissed the statement, claiming that other OSs commanded a greater share of many markets, but admitted Sun was making progress in the battle against Microsoft.
McNealy said that Sun will forge closer ties with Intel over Merced as a result of the announcement.
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