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October 28, 1991

PROTOTYPE OF MICROSOFT’s NT RUNS ON PROTOTYPE BOXES; INTEL ALPHAs OUT…

By CBR Staff Writer

Microsoft Corp’s forthcoming Windows NT 32 operating system was previewing on the Comdex floor running on a souped-up 61 MIPS 75MHz 80486 machine which Intel achieved by speeding up a 50MHz chip and labelled a prototype. It was also on a 50MHz Acer Corp R4000 RISC box and the R4000 PWS 4000 from Ing C Olivetti & Co SpA, neither of which are commercially available yet. Also discreetly off the the floor in a room adjacent to the main convention center, NT was running on a four-processor NCR Corp machine called Jupiter built out of four 50MHz 80486 parts, a symmetric multiprocessor that NT is said to support. And in what it calls a sanity check, Microsoft has had Alpha versions of the Intel version of NT out with about two dozen independent software vendors. It has not done the same with the MIPS Computer Systems Inc RISC version, it being premature, an unusual case of the software being ahead of the hardware. Still, proper MIPS tools are 30 to 60 days away. However, apparently another batch of Intel Alphas were being handed to 80 strategic independent software vendors last week under the proviso that they commit to developing on it – and not just play with it. Eventually Microsoft intends to deliver operating systems, compilers and what-not on a single CDROM.

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