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MICROSOFT & 3COM TEAM FOR EMBEDDED NT PUSH.

By Dan Jones Microsoft Corp and 3Com Corp have signed an agreement that will see the networking company backing embedded NT and Windows 2000. The companies have 70 projects underway involving the as yet unreleased operating systems. Bob Cushing, 3Com's director of strategic partnerships, said that these ranged from the mundane - for instance, developing drivers for Windows 2000 - to exploratory, projects - such as the possibility of porting Embedded NT to its smaller LAN switches such as the SuperStack II. The companies will definitely be working to develop converged networks carrying voice, data and video and voice over IP and virtual private network applications running on NT. In the enterprise sector they will embed Windows 2000 server functionality on 3Com switches. This would mean incorporating management features from the OS such as Transcend Policy Manager which would prioritize traffic - for instance SAP R/3 data over corporate emails - at the switch level. Cushing says that this will make network management faster, cheaper and simpler. The pair will also open a development center in Redmond. With the alliance Cisco hopes to gain an advantage over its major networking rivals, Intel Corp in the low-end, adapter card market and Cisco Systems Inc at the enterprise lev el. However, the success of the venture hangs in the balance on one crucial issue - when will Microsoft deliver windows 2000 and Embedded NT? Cushing could not answer the question. He said that he had no specifics on the time of delivery for the operating systems, although he did say that 3Com officials were briefed by Brad Chase, Microsoft's VP for Windows marketing and developer relations, last week and a full version of Windows 2000 is expected before year-end. The deal will also be a boost for 3Com's ambitions in the home networking sector, coming hard on the heels of the firm opening its own home networking unit (01/15/99). Microsoft and Cisco will initially work on home LAN and broadband access solutions but Cushing didn't rule out the possibility of using Embedded NT in consumer devices. He said that home networking would become a hot topic for the two companies when technical feasibility converged with consumer demand.
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Publication:Computergram International
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 21, 1999
Words:362
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