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NT faces RISCy future

Unix still got legs in the corporate market

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Both Intel and Microsoft will have to take a back seat to RISC this year, according to research from IDC. The company also predicts a compound growth rate of over six per cent in the server market. Microsoft's NT will continue to be the low end product of choice, but will fail to make the leap to the lucrative mid-range market due to unreliability. Instead, RISC-based machines will continue to dominate. IDC says that Linux is also likely to gain ground over the next few years. Despite not being fully standardised, and only accounting for a minority of server sales, the open source product is being recognised as a useful and viable business tool with particular relevance in the appliance server market. Intel's new IA64 will have a rocky start, again thanks to RISC. Initially, RISC chips will ship in greater numbers despite the theoretically superior design –- Explicitly Parallel Instruction Set Computing (EPIC) -- of the new chip from Intel. The upcoming end of century is having an effect on the market too. IDC says that the over all market in 1999 is expected to slow significantly as businesses postponed new purchases until after the date change. Martin Hingly, research director at IDC commented: "If they’ve already tested and certified their systems as compatible, many won’t buy again until after the new year." The way to beat this slump, he says, is for vendors to start work on next millennium solutions. ®

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