Microsoft is to release tomorrow (Thursday) the latest version of its Windows Services for Unix, a set of tools designed to make Windows and Unix work together and help users migrate from Unix to Windows.
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Windows Services for Unix (SFU) 3.5 offers performance enhancements and adds support for multithreaded Unix applications as well as clustering, among other new features. Microsoft, which used to charge $99 per copy, will make the software available for free.
"Very few customers are running pure Unix or pure Windows environments. Those customers do have an issue about interoperability between the two platforms and they want to get that interoperability without additional investments," said Dennis Oldroyd, a director in Microsoft's Windows Server group.
"We see a lot of customers on proprietary RISC (reduced instruction set computer)-based Unix systems who want to keep their Unix applications but move to Windows," he added.
SFU makes the Windows file system and Active Directory service work with the Unix variants. It also offers a Unix subsystem called Interix, which provides complete support for compiling and then running Unix applications in Windows.
Windows SFU 3.5 succeeds version 3.0, which was introduced in October 2001. The software will be available for download from tomorrow and runs on Windows 2000, Windows 2000 Server, Windows XP Professional Edition and Windows Server 2003. Customers can also order a CD-ROM for the cost of shipping and handling.
More information on Windows Services for Unix is at: http://www.microsoft.com/windows/sfu/default.asp
Joris Evers writes for IDG News Service