Microsoft Windows Services For Unix - SFU = DOA?
LAS VEGAS, NV [9 May 2000] At NetWorld+Interop 2000, Microsoft Corp. [NASDAQ:MSFT]
Chairman and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates announced the availability
of Microsoft Windows Services for UNIX 2.0 (SFU). Microsoft Windows Services
for UNIX 2.0 provides an additional set of comprehensive tools to help
bridge the gap between UNIX and Windows for users and administrators.
It helps create a logical enterprise network where resources are shared
seamlessly and access control is simplified. Microsoft Windows Services
for UNIX 2.0 provides a mechanism to take advantage of existing UNIX resources
and expertise while simplifying network administration and account management
in a mixed Windows 2000, Windows NT, and UNIX-based environment.
Names can be deceiving. Check out those system requirements - SFU runs
on Windows NT & 2000 only. A better product name might be Microsoft UNIX
Services for Windows.
core product includes:
- NFS Client & Server
- UNIX UID/GID - Windows Domain/AD Name Mapping
- Telnet Server & Client
- Active Directory storage of NIS-hosted objects
- UNIX-Windows Password Synchronization
- Korn shell for Windows
interestingly, Microsoft is even saying the dreaded L-word (Linux). SFU
will interoperate with Solaris 2.6, HP-UX 10.20, Tru64 UNIX 5.0, and
Red Hat Linux 6.1.
earlier version of SFU was a free download. SFU 2.0 will retail for US$
149. When SFU 1.0 was free, it was hard to beat it on price/performance
issues. However, at its current price, it's competing with richer solutions
from other vendors. For example, Xlink's Omni-NFS Enterprise offers additional
terminal and printer modes, and XLink has committed to matching or beating
Microsoft on price.
And there are better products in the market. WRQ Reflection Suite for
X lists at $468. But the WRQ suite offers extensive terminal and XWindows-based
connection modes in addition to plain vanilla NFS.
We don't see the product convincing Unix diehards to abandon their workstations
for Wintel solutions. This product is better suited for Windows users
who live in predominantly Unix centric environments. Microsoft has made
a great show of trumpeting the superiority of Windows 2000. Unix includes
NFS, telnet, and Korn free of charge. How, pray tell, is Windows better
if you have to pay more and download an extra product not included on
the installation CD?
already competition that beats Microsoft on price and performance. As
a result, SFU, as a separate product, is probably DOA.