Bristol Technology Ships Win-to-Lin Migration Tool

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Event Summary

11/30/99 - Bristol Technology, Inc. has announced shipment of its Windows-to-Linux application-migration tool. Bristol is the Danbury, CT-based company that sued Microsoft Corp. in 1998 for antitrust violations following Microsoft's alleged attempt to substantially raise the price it planned to charge Bristol for a Windows source-code license. Bristol's Wind/U for Linux product, which began shipping Tuesday, enables developers to compile Microsoft Win32 API and Microsoft Foundation Class source code directly on Linux, and create native, desktop and server-based Linux applications, according to Bristol. As part of the package, Bristol is providing ports of the RogueWave Stingray Visual C++ components on Linux for use with Wind/U. Wind/U for Linux supports Red Hat Linux 6.1 and the Corel Linux distribution. Bristol also is offering services, via its Linux Porting Center, to help companies determine the effort required to port their applications to Linux. The Porting Center also provides hands-on training in Linux development, Bristol says.

Market Impact

Bristol's announcement comes six weeks after rival MainSoft announced its plans to offer its MainWin product for Linux. (See TEC News Analysis article: "MainWin for Linux - NT Apps without NT", October 27th, 1999) As with that product, this will help increase Linux's market share. As before, one of the key roadblocks to Linux acceptance is a lack of applications, and providing easy migration will help minimize that issue. This will help diversify the OS market, from the perspective of increasing market share of a smaller player (Linux). With an estimated 100,000 NT-based applications, this is a fertile segment for this type of product. With the growing emphasis on Linux, we expect to see increased competition between Bristol and MainSoft, resulting in increased consumer benefit.

User Recommendations

The announcement affects those customers trying to decide between Windows NT and Linux. As with the MainSoft announcement, this product may help users decide in favor of Linux due to the increased potential for applications availability, although it should not be the sole determining factor. Also affected are those customers who have already decided on Linux, want to port NT applications, and need to decide between Bristol and MainSoft. Bristol's lower price ($6K-$12K vs. ~$25K for MainSoft) and shipping status (now vs. early-2000 for MainWin) is an advantage, but customers need to compare functionality closely, to ensure that they pick the product which best fulfills their needs. One of the risks is that neither Bristol nor MainSoft yet has the complete source code for Windows 2000, so there will be some question of whether all applications will run "as advertised". We expect that there will be some modest "issues" for a short time after initial release of Windows 2000 (announced for February 17th, 2000), but we expect both vendors to resolve them within 2-3 months of release. Finally, as with the MainSoft release, customers with mixed NT and Linux environments will see more benefit than those deciding between operating systems.

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