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Comdex coverage by CNN and

Unrest rises across the realm of Wintel

November 16, 1998
Web posted at: 7:46 PM PT

by Michael Vizard, InfoWorld VP/Executive News Editor


(IDG) -- As we enter in the latest iteration of the medieval fair known as Comdex, a cursory look at the high-tech kingdom would tell you that Microsoft and Intel are still joint kings of all they survey.

But bubbling underneath that supposed tranquility are an increasing number of rebellions that continue to draw new converts everyday. Perhaps emboldened by the U.S. government's increased willingness to investigate, customers and major vendors alike are showing an increased propensity to pursue their own agendas.

For example, as noted in Ed Scannell's Page One, Nov. 16 InfoWorld article, IBM, Compaq, and Hewlett-Packard are three major princes of the computing kingdom that are now trying to collectively influence Intel's future server designs, while simultaneously snubbing Intel on their consumer offerings.
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Meanwhile, SAP is trying to put some distance between itself and Microsoft by developing a thin-client computing strategy in conjunction with Lotus, as noted in a Page One, Nov. 16 InfoWorld article by Ted Smalley Bowen and Stannie Holt. After all, not even SAP has the clout necessary to continually force customers to deploy fat clients based on either their own cumbersome client software or Microsoft's suite of hefty Office applications.

Meanwhile, a peasant rebellion led by the Linux community continues to draw support from both the rank and file of IT community and application providers such as Netscape and Oracle. Even Intel, the hardware half of the Wintel empire, is hedging its bets by investing in Red Hat, a distributor of Linux, and developing versions of its hardware that will be optimized for Linux.

Ironically, many diehard Windows developers are also beginning to think about broadening their base of allegiance by learning about Java and other server platforms for fear of being shut out of large-scale Internet projects that require a command of Unix or Linux.

So the real question is, will the current unrest in the kingdom blossom into full-scale rebellion, or are we looking at just one of a series minor insurrections in the long reign of the Microsoft?

Write to Michael at

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