Mainsoft Brings Windows To Linux

Business software solutions provider Mainsoft Corp. is moving its MainWin product, a Windows platform developed for UNIX, to the realm of the Linux open-source operating system (OS).

The move will, according to Mainsoft, accelerate the growth of Linux in the enterprise by expanding the development rate of business-critical applications available for the open-source environment. MainWin for Linux, expected to be offered in a commercial version toward the end of the first quarter of 2000, will allow users to re-host Windows NT applications on Linux.

“Our decision to move into the Linux marketplace has been customer and market driven,” commented Yaacov Cohen, Mainsoft president and COO. “This supports our vision of providing companies with the option to create software on the NT platform and deploy it to multiple operating environments.”

Mainstream Compatible?

MainWin’s ability to leverage a single source code across several platforms, along with the intrinsic customization of Linux itself will serve to push the open-source solution further into the corporate market, according to Mainsoft. As a potential incentive for businesses — including e-commerce operations — to choose MainWin for Linux, the company also cites figures indicating that some 100,000 applications currently run on the Windows NT platform.

“Solutions making it possible to re-host this software without requiring extensive retraining of developers or expensive and time consuming rewrites is an important step toward considering Linux as a mainstream commercial operating environment,” stated Dan Kusnetzky, program director for the International Data Corp. (IDC) operating environments and serverware services group.

IDC Sizes Up the Penguin

“The most popular applications, development environment, middleware, and serverware software has not been available on Linux,” added Kusnetzky. “The absence of this software has slowed the adoption of Linux both as a client and as a server operating environment.”

The efforts of Mainsoft and such industry titans as Compaq,HP & IBM to join in what has been predictably called “the Linux revolution,” are being measured. Companies are increasingly embracing Linux, according to an IDC survey.

Of the respondents polled, the research firm found that 13 percent currently use Linux within their organization, a striking increase over a two-year period. Conducting a similar study in 1997, IDC found that Linux was “used by such a statistically small percentage of survey respondents” that a report could not be issued.

“This is an amazing level of growth,” observed Kusnetzky. “Linux is emerging as a potential competitor to Windows and UNIX for some server applications.”

Slow Projected Adoption Of Windows 2000

“Respondents in the study also said they have no plans to immediately roll out the Windows 2000 operating system,” said an IDC statement. “Organizations of all types and sizes indicated they plan to wait anywhere from 6 to 18 months before beginning wide-scale implementation of the new Microsoft enterprise operating system.”

“Technical stabilization,” according to IDC, was the primary reason cited by survey respondents — over 50 percent — as the primary reason for delaying the adoption of Windows 2000. “Past issues with first-release operating systems from Microsoft have caused organizations to rein in their Windows 2000 deployment plans,” stated William Peterson, research manager for IDC’s Client Infrastructure Software programs.

IDC is a division of International Data Group, specializing in IT media research.

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