You may have already heard that in
Microsoft's NT Workstation 4.0,
functionality will be significantly reduced.
If you want to run any Web server
(O'Reilly's, Microsoft's, or others') on NT,
you'll have to buy an NT Server for $999.
The implications of Microsoft's actions are
serious for the Web community, and I
encourage you to help spread the word
First, the facts: NT Workstation 4.0 will
limit the number of unique IP addresses
which can contact a Web server to 10 or
fewer in a 10-minute period. No previous
version of NT Workstation has contained
this limitation. Of course, this effectively
eliminates NT Workstation as an option for
Internet or Intranet Web server usage.
Now, the implications: this development
will choke off one of the most important
new directions for the Web: its return to
its roots as a groupware information
sharing system for the desktop. Like email
and the PC itself, Web publishing belongs
on the desktop. With the higher price tag
of NT Server ($999 vs. $290), users who
have never before put up a web site will be
extremely unlikely to do so.
This move by Microsoft will hurt the
efforts of Web developers, Intranet
developers, and Internet service providers,
a great many of whom have been happy to
create sites on NT Workstation. Microsoft
has been saying that IIS (the Web server
they include with NT Server) is free, and
quite clearly, this is now exposed as
untrue. Developers will have to stick with
the older NT Workstation operating system
if they want to use any server other than
IIS (noted for its security problems), or
will have to upgrade and pay extra for the
server of their choice.
Chief WebSite developer Bob Denny says:
"When I first started developing Web
servers in 1994, nearly all Web serving
was done on the UNIX platform.
Considering that companies such as
O'Reilly & Associates, Netscape, and a
half dozen more, pushed hard in the fight
to legitimize NT vs. UNIX as a Web
server platform over the last 18 months,
Microsoft's actions are pretty extreme."
I've sent email to Bill Gates to let him
know of my personal concern about the
impact of his plans on Web users and
developers. I encourage anyone interested
in maintaining the open systems nature of
the Web to send email to Microsoft, post
this news on their sites and in newsgroups,
and write letters to editors, to put pressure
on Microsoft to reverse their decision.
They've reversed such decisions before,
when people have expressed their opinions
about an important issue such as this.
Tim O'Reilly is the Chief Executive of O'Reilly & Associates Inc
The X Consortium says that with most
vendors' development resources going into
building Web-based technologies, there has
been less and less demand for innovative
development on the UNIX operating
system and therefore on X Windows. Its
own charter doesn't extend beyond the X
world and it said it would have needed up
to $10M to begin to develop off-Broadway
Although few applications are now
developed exclusively for X Windows, it
doesn't mean the graphical networking
technology will be going away in a hurry.
All of the UNIX hardware vendors still
ship X as the key graphics component of
their UNIX system software.
X Windows was created under the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology's
Project Athena programme; the first
version was released ten years ago. The
not-for-profit X Consortium was spun out
of MIT in 1993 in the middle of the UNIX
GUI wars - this was when Sun
Microsystems Inc and Open Software
Foundation members were trying to
establish their respective X-based Open
Look and Motif graphical windowing
systems as the de facto interface for UNIX.
The rise of the Web is the biggest
testament to what a waste of money the
GUI wars were. By the time a peace
settlement managed to bring a bastard
child, the Common Desktop Environment
(CDE) to life, most of the industry was
already more interested in developing for
The X Consortium became the prime
contractor for the development of Open
Software Foundation CDE and Motif and
will deliver final versions of both, along
with X Windows to OSF's successor, the
Open Group, by the end of 1996.
The X Consortium has more than 30
engineers none of whom are expected to
move over to the Open Group.
Reproduced from unigram.x - the weekly information newsletter for the UNIX community worldwide. Number 597, July 1996.
Tel: 01763 273 475
Fax: 01763 273 255
Queries: Ask Here
|Join UKUUG Today!||
PO BOX 37