AAx Framework for Business
System & Network Software

Is there really a choice?





In today's distorted marketplace, the business planner is immediately faced with a simple, but gut wrenching decision. This decision will control every other decision from here on out. It was bad enough before, but Windows 2000 has made the whole issue more urgent. So here it is, straight up!

Which phrase matches your company?

  • "Microsoft Windows will make us so productive we can afford the $8,000 to $14,000 per PC per year it will cost." (cost from Gartner Group, Forester Research, Intel and others).
  • "We don't have any choice - we have to be 'All Microsoft' regardless of cost."
  • "We have to be Microsoft on the desktop, but lets keep it off the servers."
  • "We need a low cost, stable, secure environment that will provide year-in, year-out productivity, and we're willing to go through some effort to achieve that.
  • "We're an on-line business. Adherence to Internet standards, stability and security are critical, and those don't come from Redmond."
  • "Windows came on the computers - what's to decide?".

Here's your background material.

Why do we say "All Microsoft" or "No Microsoft"? Well, it's almost as difficult to be "a little bit Microsoft" as it is to be "a little bit pregnant". It's the old camel's nose story - once the camel gets his nose under the tent, soon the rest of the camel is under the tent. To use a favorite Microsoft tech support phrase, "This behavior is by design".

Bill Gates' mission plan, "A PC on every desk, running only Microsoft software" does not leave room for any other significant Windows software developers or publishers for the business market. Microsoft now has the power to achieve this goal. There will be Microsoft software, and there will be Microsoft Certified customizers using Microsoft tools to adjust Microsoft software to your business in Microsoft approved ways.


"Ok, what are the alternatives and is there any software for any of them?"

Our Comparison Chart shows what software people typically run under Windows, Linux and OS/2. For general business applications, vertical market software, or for a highly customized solution, there are plenty of choices. If you want games and entertainment, it's Windows for you. If you depend on a specialized software package only available for Windows, you have to run Windows (though you could run it in a VMWare Windows session under Linux).

Listed here are some available high performance desktop and server operating systems. Just click on the name for detailed information.

  • Unix - What Windows NT wants to be when it grows up. Unix boxes with 700 days uptime are not unusual - NT servers do about 7 days (according to Bill Gates). Unix servers routinely support 200 users - NT generally chokes above 20. A Unix server can run a dozen major tasks simultaneously - Microsoft recommends a separate NT server for each major task. Microsoft has been imitating Unix features since they added subdirectories to DOS (v2.0) - why not get the real thing? It costs less and works better. PC clients and/or terminals are supported.

  • Linux - Unix for the people, by the people. A no cost / low cost Unix created and maintained by volunteers. It is now common for Linux to replace Windows NT where NT has failed to perform. In large companies this is often done without informing management due to a "Microsoft only" corporate policy. With the server slot pretty well nailed, software developers and the Linux community are now giving serious attention to the desktop. PC clients and/or terminals are supported. See also Linux News for late breaking items.

  • OS/2 - What you should be using on the desktop instead of Windows. Realizing how superior OS/2 is to Windows, Microsoft has applied every trick their money could buy to suppress it. Today, OS/2 is used where Windows' unreliability is intolerable: banks, insurance, airlines, supermarkets, the Century freeway, Automation Access, Wal Mart . . . . OS/2 currently leads the way in centrally managed PCs (IBM's WSOD) and Java applications. Network server and/or client. Supports DOS, OS/2, and all Windows clients. See also OS/2 News for late breaking items.

  • AS/400 - Total security and 99.94% uptime without a cluster, scaling from small business ($7000) to multinational mega-corp. This is the premier platform for serious business. PC networks and/or terminals are supported.

  • Novell NetWare - Once king of the PC network, once again a serious contender, especially in larger companies. NetWare Directory Services (NDS) make it ideal for managing large networks. Novell is betting on a Java future. PC Clients (Windows, OS/2, DOS, Linux) are supported.

  • Mix any two - All these environments have specific strong points. Fortunately, they all get along well together, so if you want OS/2 on the desktop and Linux on the server, you can do that. Despite Microsoft's best efforts, they all interoperate well with Windows too.
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©:Andrew Grygus - Automation Access - www.aaxnet.com - aax@aaxnet.com
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