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SFU 3.5 Coming This Year, 4.0 in 2004

Microsoft is cooking up some changes for its Services for Unix product set, but the company is tight-lipped about what those changes might be.

Company officials recently disclosed that a version 3.5 of SFU was in the pipeline for delivery later this year, and a version 4.0 is on tap for 2004. The 3.5 version, in fact, went out to a limited set of testers in early beta form recently. Asked for details, however, a company spokeswoman said Microsoft isn't ready yet to discuss the feature set for either upgrade.

The obvious enhancement for SFU 3.5, however, is support for Windows Server 2003. Version 3.0, released last year, supported Windows 2000, Windows NT and Windows XP Professional. (On the Unix side, SFU 3.0 was supposed to work with all versions of Unix although it was only specifically tested with Sun Solaris 2.7, HP-UX 11, AIX 4.3.3 and Red Hat Linux 7.0, according to the Microsoft Web site.)

SFU offers Windows-Unix interoperability, helping to integrate Windows and Unix-based networks through telnet client and server software, bi-directional automatic name mapping for unified logins and password synchronization, and client and server NFS software to simplify sharing resources.

With SFU 3.0, Microsoft added the Interix software it acquired in 1999 to SFU. Interix replaces and greatly improves upon the Posix subsystem in Windows for running existing Unix applications and scripts on the Windows platform.

About the Author

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

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