Unix to beef up Longhorn

Last year rumors surfaced that Microsoft was considering including its Services for Unix (SFU) into Longhorn. Today vnunet is reporting that Microsoft is indeed going to include SFU into its next generation OS. Exactly how Microsoft will go about this remains to be seen. SFU cannot be shipped with Windows currently because it contains open-source software. This is probably why Microsoft bought licenses from SCO last year.

Microsoft is set to include its Services for Unix (SFU) add-on for Windows as an integral part of the next major release of the Windows server operating system, codenamed Longhorn and expected in 2008. Some analysts said the move could eventually sideline conventional Linux and Unix operating systems. A growing number of firms are using SFU, currently a free add-on for Windows 2000, 2003 and XP Professional, because it enables a single system to run Windows, Linux and Unix software. Systems running SFU provide an excellent environment for integrating applications - for example, to add Active Directory support to a Unix application.

Jason Zions, a solutions architect at Microsoft, said there are development versions of SFU that enable a single process to run code both from Windows and Unix libraries. Currently this feature, which would dramatically ease integration tasks, is not available in SFU. Zions said, "We've been working on research versions that would solve that particular problem. It wouldn't surprise me to see that capability appear in a future release of Windows."

News source: vnunet.com

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