Novell, Microsoft execs speak at show; no date given for Win2000

Novell
chairman Eric Schmidt, left, and Microsoft president Steve Ballmer predict network
improvements.


ATLANTA—At the NetWorld+Interop trade show last month, Microsoft Corp. president
Steve Ballmer announced a delivery date for the long-awaited Microsoft Windows NT 4.0
successor: “The day it’s ready.”


That will probably be next year, Ballmer said, although “we still have a ways to
go.”


Conference keynote speakers Ballmer and Novell Inc. chairman Eric Schmidt each talked
about their visions of a networked world.


Schmidt likened today’s networks to urban sprawl: difficult to navigate and hard
to maintain. The integration of directories with applications and services is the key to
making networks more functional, he said. Schmidt promoted Novell Directory Services for
policy-based management in Novell NetWare, NT and Unix environments.


At the show, Novell and Lucent Technologies Inc. of Murray Hill, N.J., announced an
agreement to integrate NDS with Lucent products. Lucent’s Cajun P550 Ethernet switch,
set for release early next year, will bundle NDS. IBM Corp. and Oracle Corp., among
others, already incorporate NDS in some of their networking products.


Ballmer acknowledged that NT 4.0 falls short in the areas of configuration management,
availability, reliability and security. The configuration manager and the reliability will
be better in Windows 2000, he said.


Asked about the possibility of Microsoft’s licensing NDS as a replacement for the
troubled Microsoft Active Directory, Schmidt said, “We’re trying to partner with
Microsoft” although that relationship historically “didn’t work so well for
us.” 


—William Jackson

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