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IT Confidential: Bid NT Farewell, Say Hello To AMD's Chips

What will 2005 bring? Advanced Micro Devices expects to ring in the New Year with the first deals to embed its processors in routers and other types of network equipment. AMD's VP of worldwide enterprise business development, Kevin Knox, says AMD processors already are in the design stage with at least one networking company; he declines to name new partners but says AMD is seeing interest from the "mainstream networking guys you would expect." AMD believes there's opportunity for its chips in storage systems and high-end copiers, too. And Microsoft is scheduled to ship a 64-bit version of Windows Server 2003 in the first half of 2005, which should be well suited for Opteron.

The gap between business and I.T. apparently still exists.Dale Fuller, the CEO of Borland Software, stopped by InformationWeek's New York City office last week to talk about communications breakdowns between business managers and their IT counterparts. Borland is working on a dashboard, code-named Themis (the Greek goddess of law and order) and due in the first half of 2005, that's intended to give business managers better visibility into the features, cost, and time line for software-development projects, so they have more control over the outcome. Fuller was in town to ring Nasdaq's opening bell in celebration of the 15th anniversary of Borland's listing on the exchange.

With friends like Microsoft, Oracle needs PeopleSoft. The ink hadn't dried on the Oracle-PeopleSoft deal last week when Microsoft corporate VP Bill Veghte sent an E-mail to PeopleSoft customers inviting them to join the Windows camp. Not only that, but Veghte suggested that PeopleSoft users consider migrating their applications to a Microsoft ERP suite. Earlier this year, the companies signaled a thawing of their infamously cold relationship when Oracle joined Microsoft's Visual Studio Partner Program. Just two weeks ago, at the OracleWorld conference, Oracle president Charles Phillips said, "We have a lot of work going on with [Microsoft]. We are broadening our relationship." At the time, Phillips declined to specify what comes next, but he told me a few weeks ago that the priorities include optimizing Oracle's grid technology for Windows environments. Phillips also said, "We'll compete hard where it's appropriate." Obviously, the PeopleSoft base will be one of the battlegrounds.

Auld Lang Syne.As the clock winds down on Dec. 31, pull close to someone special, raise a glass, and, this is important, remember to flip the "off" switch on any Windows NT 4.0 servers you've got running. More than 10 years after Microsoft introduced Windows NT 3.1 in July 1993, support for Windows NT 4.0 Server ends at the stroke of midnight on the last day of 2004, bringing an end to the family of operating systems that launched Microsoft into the server market. Well, not exactly an end. Millions of NT servers and workstations may still be in use, only some of which are covered by extended support contracts. And some NT code still resides deep within Microsoft's newest operating systems.

The NT stood for "new technology," which makes me think that, from now on, we should all refer to it as OT for "old technology." Feeling nostalgic? Wipe that tear from your eye and send me a note about your experiences with Windows OT. You can reach me at My colleague, John Soat, will be back in this column in our next issue.

To discuss this column with other readers, please visit John Foley's forum on the Listening Post.

To find out more about John Foley, please visit his page on the Listening Post.

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