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The development of NT versions for the heavy server market is on the downgrade. In February 1997 after IBM and Motorola turned away from their PowerPC initiative, Microsoft stopped the development of NT for the PowerPC platform. The development of NT for the MIPS processors has been given up already before. Furthermore, the performance of Pentium Pro based SMP systems using four or more processors running NT appears to be quite disappointing. This means that at best the Alpha will be the only high-end platform that NT will be available for. However, at this moment there is not enough software available for the Alpha. Furthermore, the development is being slowed down by the FX32 technology.

Research institute Gartner reacted to the cancellation of the NT for PowerPC development by advising to only use NT on the Intel platform. This implies that NT will not be suitable for heavy-duty server installations. According to Netcraft surveys most of the Internet and intranet servers are UNIX systems. Indeed, especially most larger and professional sites are UNIX based. The trend towards more interactivity on Web sites will only increase the UNIX market share.

IDC (International Data Corporation) reported a strong growth of the UNIX market in 1996. The exponential expansion of Internet and intranet technology mean that UNIX will penetrate each organization in the near future. For example, figures of Forrester Research show an explosive growth in the use of e-mail. In 1992 only 2 percent of the American people used e-mail. In January this figure had increased to 15 percent, and it will be over 50 percent within five years!

Apart from its power and availability, the two main reasons to prefer UNIX over NT are its stability and flexibility. Especially in the highly TCP/IP networked environment we will all be dealing with in the forthcoming years, UNIX will be the most suitable solution for the Network Operating System. There are quite some reasons to prefer UNIX over NT here:

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