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Sendmail Targets NT Deployment

Expanding on its massive install base aboard open source and Unix platforms, Sendmail Inc. (Emeryville, Calif., www.sendmail.com) is gearing up to support the Windows NT market, with hopes of capturing a chunk of that market sector.

The company’s move into the NT space was prefaced by the company’s September acquisition of MetaInfo Sendmail from Seattle, Wash.-based MetaInfo Inc. The MetaInfo product was essentially a Windows NT port of the Unix version of Sendmail. The closure of that acquisition was kept under wraps this week. The MetaInfo Sendmail acquisition also gives Sendmail ownership of MetaInfo’s 15,000-customer international install base.

The company is using a novel development model that marries the open source development community together with the benefit to corporate users of a single-source application package. That approach is similar to the approach that some industry pioneers such as Netscape Communications Corp. and more recently, Sun Microsystems Inc., are using.

Although this approach seems to suggest the company will take advantage of the open source development community without returning value to it, Sendmail executives maintain that open source developers will still benefit from their efforts. "We are very committed to continuing to drive innovation through the open source development program," says vice president of marketing Richard Guth. "You will see us continue to enhance the open source version of Sendmail, prior to putting any products on top of it."

The basic difference between the open source code, available free of charge, and the Sendmail for NT and Sendmail Pro product is the user interface, documentation and optional management features that are incorporated into the commercial version.

In the NT market, Sendmail faces established competitive products, including the Post.Office product from Software.com (www.software.com) and Microsoft’s Exchange Server.

For the short-term future, Sendmail will offer two versions of its product, the former MetaInfo product -- which will be renamed Sendmail for NT -- and Sendmail Pro, which is the Unix version of the product. Because Sendmail Pro is built using the most current Sendmail code base, version 8.9.2, and Sendmail for NT is built on version 8.8.9, the two products will reach parity at release 8.10, slated for 1999. At that time, the names will be synchronized too. -- Al Gillen, Editor in Chief

About the Author

Scott Bekker is editor in chief of Redmond Channel Partner magazine.

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