Unix-based manufacturing execution systems – MES – software leader Consilium Inc has begun converting to NT as its primary development system. The Mountain View, California company will begin dribbling the first NT clients for its Digital Equipment Corp VMS and Hewlett Packard Co HP-UX servers onto the market in June. By early next year it plans to start releasing NT versions of its flagship WorkStream DFS server family, a line of 15 servers used in the semiconductor/electronics and health care/process industries. While many of the more than 200 developers at Consilium are still using Unix, NT is rolling through the development laboratories like a tidal wave, said marketing vice president Ralph Zak. It’s already being used as the development system for all future Consilium servers, which will then be compiled in both NT and Unix versions. The first of those new servers, which join the 15 in the current WorkStream line, roll out next year together with NT versions of Consilium’s current programs. Even before that WorkStream DFS: Connection NT, an NT client that replaces the X terminals now used as WorkStream clients, will hit the market. The NT client, in beta test since November, should be ready in a basic version in June with an extended version coming during the second half. The NT client, at $10,000 for a full-use development license plus a run-time license fee of $600 per user, will cost somewhat more than the X terminal technology now in use. With typical WorkStream licences in the $5,000-$6000 per-user range, Zak considers the extra cost of NT trivial. For the difference, he said, companies get the ability to customize the graphical user interfaces for each worker, based on the job he’s doing. With X terminals everyone has been stuck with the same interface. The NT client lets companies use any object linking environment-compatible tool to modify the standard NT interface Consilium provides or to build customized interfaces.