Digital Equipment Corp is plowing a lonely furrow in the NT-on- RISC business now that both the MIPS and the PowerPC camps have capitulated to Intel Corp’s inevitable dominance. If DEC is to build up its software catalog for the Alpha chip as quickly as it needs to, its FX32, Intel x86-to-Alpha migration utility (CI No 3,017) could turn out to be crucial. FX32 is now at point release 1.1. DEC claims ease-of-use and reliability have been improved, with faster start-up and more efficient utilization of system resources, which includes cutting the memory really needed for optimization from 48Mb down to 32Mb. Users can choose either automated or scheduled off-line optimization of translated Win32 code. It supports DirectSound and its MAPI messaging support has been improved, although it is apparently still not finished. DEC said the bug fixes in the new release make it capable of running more Win32 programs than its predecessor, though it couldn’t quantify that assertion, and claimed performance of 32-bit Windows applications may be 5% to 10% better than the 50% to 60% of a comparable native port that 1.0 was achieving. But DEC admitted that it’s still not got to the promised 70% figure it was aiming for.