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NT's Bid For Global Domination

Technology that Truly is "Not There"

Christopher J. Cox
North Texas Linux Users Group
June 14, 1997


  • What is NT?
  • How do you understand "BillSpeak"?
  • BillSpeak 101
  • How real is their goal?
  • Wither Unix?
  • Where is the alternative? (Linux)

What is NT?

  • NT is New Technology
  • Microsoft's new direction after abandoning OS/2.
  • OS/2 was originally named after the 286. - Nicknamed "Not There" because of its massive delay into the marketplace.
  • Set the current FUD trend often employed by Microsoft (e.g. MTS, Falcon, Windows 97, etc.).
  • NT to replace bug ridden Windows 3.

What is NT?

  • Major problems with initial delivery NT:
    • Early versions were not feature rich (relied on FUD).
    • No application support.
    • Too much of a resource hog. (12M min for 3.51, 24M min for 4.0)
      • Current machinery was 4 - 8M.
      • Realistically, 32M min for 3.51 and 48M min for 4.0...ask anyone
    • NT was doomed....

What is NT?

  • Windows 95...a vehicle to save NT.
    • More palatable to consumer.
    • Gradual resource increase on computers.
    • A great way to generate applications for the failing NT OS.
    • Same bugs (if not more) than Windows 3.x.
  • Frustration will encourage an evolutionary change in architecture - NT.

What is NT?

  • Multi-threaded, event driven OS.
    • Nothing new. Threading model is similar to light-weight processes. Event model is similar to X11 models.
  • This is a single user client OS designed for the workstation.
  • NT Server is FUD at its finest!! In fact it is pure deception.

BillSpeak 101

  • Use technology-like speech with a hidden sales/marketing agenda.
  • Assumptions and Characteristics:
  • Average user is technology-ignorant (i.e. stupid)
  • Charlotte was right! People believe what they read in print.
    • The more you say something the truer it becomes.

BillSpeak 101 (Lesson 1)

  • Client/Server
    • A Client is a machine which accesses file and/or printers located on another machine.
    • A Server is a machine which advertises files and/or printers for other machines to use.
  • Conclusion: Unix boxes are great file servers! So is the mainframe!
    • Bill hides the fact that Unix boxes and mainframes are TRUE servers.
    • ....Bill sets the stage for the next lesson

BillSpeak 101 (Lesson 2)

  • Application Server
    • A Server which contains programs which can be accessed via file sharing to run on a Client machine.
  • Conclusion: Unix doesn't do this well. Neither does the mainframe.
    • Unix doesn't do this well, because the model is incorrect. In Unix, applications can be run on the Server box. By Bill's definition, this makes a Unix Server a Client....and that, according to BillSpeak, is an oxymoron.

BillSpeak 101 (Lesson 3)

  • Multi-user (and user)
  • A collection of Windows 95 or (better) NT Workstation machines connected to one or more NT Server boxes.
    • Each network connection to NT Server is a "user".
    • Each user must be licensed individually. Therefore, a user is a connection.

BillSpeak 101 (Lesson 4)

  • Java
  • An Open Systems buzzword which generates a great deal of free marketing.
  • Great contrast with Active X:
    • Java is slow because of its greater dependence on the network....and networks are too slow today.
    • People will switch to Active X because they'll be running PCs on their desktops anyway.

BillSpeak 101 (Lesson 5)

  • "Open Systems" standards which show the limitations of other OS's (e.g. Unix).
    • Microsoft proprietary protocols assume an underlying Windows infrastructure.
    • Current ploy is to put DCOM into Unix to give the illusion of openness, though Unix lacks the Windows specific files and services to make it useful.
    • It will be easy to blame DCOM on Unix failure to the "inferiority" of Unix.

[June 8, 2006] Most do not remember the fact that Microsoft actually ported all of this "stuff" to Unix

BillSpeak 101 (Lesson 6)

  • Plug and Play
    • A means of configuring a PC automatically, bypassing your ignorance (i.e. stupidity).
      • Forces vendors to develop devices which will ONLY work on Microsoft OS's.
    • Winmodems - Winprinters - etc.

BillSpeak 101

  • Linguistic Problems
    • Multi-user NT
      • A development designed to appease people who have the "incorrect" definition of "client/server".
      1. A MAJOR resource hog.
      2. Most Windows applications are written to assume a "correct" definition of "client/server".
      3. Many apps break or behave poorly in a Multi-user NT environment.
      4. Eventually forces implementors towards "correctness".
      5. New Citrix technology licensed to bring "true" multi-user operations to NT, but STILL requires a Windows front-end (they just don't get it).

How Real is Their Goal?

  • NT Server shipments now in the 100's of thousands.
  • Linux Server install base estimated to be in the millions (somewhere between 3 and 4).
  • NT starting to replace Windows 95 and luring Windows 3.x sites to make the expensive jump.
  • Fed by user demand for Win95 interface at work.

How Real is Their Goal?

  • Unix community /gladly/ accepts Microsoft's proclamation that Unix is a "Server".
  • Unix community /gladly/ hands entire workstation market to Microsoft.
    • WHY? Unix community consists mainly of HARDWARE vendors. They just want to sell "iron"....could care less about the quality of the underlying OS.

How Real is Their Goal?

  • Ask DEC:
    • Heavy NT investment.
    • Looked upon as the savior for the Alpha architecture.
    • More Digital NT installations than Digital Unix installations.
    • "maddog" must go!!

[June 8, 2006] I love "maddog"... now. But then, he spent most of his time preaching how Linux was strictly for the hobbiest, and not serious enough for the enterprise. Ask him. He'll verify that is how he was when he was with DEC.

How Real is Their Goal?

  • Ask IBM:
    • Now claims more NT applications than Microsoft.
    • AIX 4.2 makes NT look like quality software.
    • OS/2...we love it....nah we hate it....wait a minute...uhhh....

How Real is Their Goal?

  • Ask HP:
    • HPUX relegates to expensive high-end servers.
    • Intel alliance.
    • Heavy NT future.
    • Best strategic ALL MICROSOFT based plan.
    • HP is betting EVERYTHING on NT. This effectively makes DEC's NT position look trivial to Microsoft.

[June 8, 2006] HP is a bag full of mixed messages. I wrote this over two CEO's ago. HP laptops and workstations still DO NOT work well with Linux. However, HP is certainly making more favorable public comments about Linux.

Wither Unix?

  • SCO
    • The last bastion of PURE commercial Unix.
    • "Free Unix" program initiated in attempt to keep out Linux.
    • VERY popular in European markets!
    • With US markets rapidly migrating towards "personal computers" running a "personal computer OS" (NT), this could leave the EC as having the only reliable technology infrastructure.

[June 8, 2006]Oh.. how times have changed. Remember this isn't about new SCO, but about old SCO.

Wither Unix?

  • SCO....BUT....
    • SCO lacks resources that Linux has access to.
    • SCO can't keep up with latest trends.
    • SCO will not be able to stand up against the Microsoft wave (Plug-and-Play hardware...etc.).
    • SCO will be bought out by Microsoft??? (a loose prediction)
    • Did you know that Microsoft already owns part of SCO?

Wither Unix?

  • The free BSD variants:
    • Still lacking in the good SysV features.
    • Moving slowly....difficult to keep up with the Microsoft challenge.
    • Diverts needed resources away from any real Unix contender.

The Alternative!

  • Apart from the free BSDs, Linux is the only Unix that has not sold-out their workstation base.
    • Better quality apps....more important features.
    • Freeware and sourceware is growing in popularity.
      • Java
      • Netscrape
      • Internet Exploder
      • Apache
      • MS Internet add-ons

[June 8, 2006] Wow... including MSIE inside a page about "free" software... go figure.

The Alternative!!

    • How can you help?
    • Get Linux installed somewhere at work!
    • Support and encourage Linux development efforts.
    • Write software (if you are a programmer).
    • Speak and write!!
    • Target business not the Linux community!
    • Let people know how great it is! Remember Charlotte's Web!!
      • It's "Some OS", it's "terrific", it's "radiant", it's "humble".

The Alternative!!

  • How can you help?
    • Presentations
    • Enterprise Solutions
    • Community awareness
    • LIP!!
    • Pizza (or other)
Page last modified on June 11, 2006, at 05:11 AM