In conjunction with the announcement of the Fahrenheit initiative with Microsoft Corp, Silicon Graphics Inc has confirmed its plans to enter the Windows NT world and will create visual PCs based on the NT platform. The Visual PC systems are slated for release in the second half of 1998 and will run all standard Windows programs. SGI says it will aim the new systems at technical and creative users in the workstation, PC and Macintosh markets. The shift to NT will be painful one for SGI, which has always maintained high margins on its specialist hardware – but it’s a necessary move now that NT-based workstations at much lower prices are catching up in the performance race. SGI says it will undoubtedly effect material changes to its business model by the second half of 1998 to keep up with the competitive deadlines of the market. More specific announcements on such changes, as well as specifics of the new machines, are promised in the next few months. What remains unclear is how SGI, now a self-described software company, will leverage these Microsoft moves for its Unix users and it appears there is another shoe yet to drop.
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