Microsoft Windows NT Server Is More Open Than UNIX, Survey Finds

Interoperability Now Most Important Definition of Openness, Results Show

REDMOND, Wash., June 13, 1996 — Reversing a common notion, European information systems managers find the Microsoft® Windows NT® Server network operating system to be more open than leading versions of UNIX® and other enterprise operating systems, according to an independent survey. The survey, which ranked systems including AIX® , HP-UX® , MVS, OS/400®
, Solaris, VMS
and Windows NT, challenges the conventional wisdom that open systems require a UNIX foundation.
In defining openness, customers said the most important factors are interoperability, choice of solutions and upward compatibility. The study, measuring buying criteria, consisted of interviews of managers from more than 200 large companies in Britain, France, Germany and Italy in March and April 1996. The study was conducted by the Inter/View organization, a leading polling company based in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

“The definition of openness is changing in the age of the public network,”
said Gary Voth, group product manager of strategic technologies and standards at Microsoft.
“Broad interoperability through use of open, standard, published protocols is the key to allowing heterogeneous systems to work together smoothly. This is a cornerstone on which Microsoft’s enterprise computing strategy is built.”

Voth said the European survey supports similar trends in the United States. For example, the U.S. Department of Defense and other federal agencies have added the Win32®
API to the list of supported open standards for user-interface services. The increasing public- and private-sector sales of Windows NT Server also appear to support the survey findings. In 1996, Windows NT Server became the No. 1 network operating system for new users, surpassing NetWarer in total sales.

In related announcements today, Microsoft said it is aligning all of its platform technologies with the native protocols and standards of the Internet, the open public network. This is how Microsoft will help ensure that its products will broadly interoperate with products from other vendors and enable customers to build new applications that can be integrated easily with existing information systems.

Among other findings in the survey, 51 percent of customers place a greater importance on market-based standards than those developed by standards bodies.

These findings bolster a growing trend toward adoption of the Microsoft Windows®
operating system family for use on corporatewide intranets. For example, both Microsoft Windows 95 and Windows NT ship with TCP/IP, the standard Internet transport, as their native networking protocol. As a result, there are more Internet-enabled computer systems running Microsoft Windows – 25 million and growing – than all other operating systems combined, including UNIX.

To help ensure open, agreed-upon standards for everyone, Microsoft works closely with many industry standards groups, including the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), the Internet Architecture Board (IAB), the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the Open Group and the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ
) is the worldwide leader in software for personal computers. The company offers a wide range of products and services for business and personal use, each designed with the mission of making it easier and more enjoyable for people to take advantage of the full power of personal computing every day.

Microsoft, Windows NT, Win32 and Windows are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries.

UNIX is a registered trademark in the United States and other countries, licensed exclusively through X/Open Company Ltd.

AIX and OS/400 are registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corp.

HP-UX is a registered trademark of Hewlett-Packard Co.

VMS is a trademark of Digital Equipment Corp.

NetWare is a registered trademark of Novell Inc.

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