Bristol pushes Linux migration

Yet another porting-tool vendor is throwing its hat into the Windows-to-Linux application-migration ring

This time, it's Bristol Technology, the Danbury, Connecticut-based company that sued Microsoft in 1998 for antitrust violations following Microsoft's alleged attempt to raise substantially the price it planned to charge Bristol for a Windows source-code license. In July, a federal jury cleared Microsoft of those charges. Bristol has said it may opt to appeal, but it is currently waiting for the judge's ruling in the case before making any more litigation plans.

Bristol's Wind/U for Linux product, which began shipping Tuesday, enables developers to compile Microsoft Win32 API and Microsoft Foundation Class source code directly on Linux, and create native, desktop and server-based Linux applications, according to Bristol. As part of the package, Bristol is providing ports of the RogueWave Stingray Visual C++ components on Linux for use with Wind/U. Wind/U for Linux supports Red Hat Linux 6.1 and the Corel Linux distribution.

Bristol also is offering services, via its Linux Porting Center, to help companies determine the effort required to port their applications to Linux. The Porting Center also provides hands-on training in Linux development, Bristol says. The Porting Center is open for business as of Tuesday.

Bristol's not the only porting tool vendor looking to address the need for more Linux applications.

Bristol rival MainSoft announced earlier this fall that it plans to deliver a Linux version of its MainWin porting tool by the end of the first quarter of 2000. MainSoft's current MainWin release makes Microsoft's Win32 application programming interfaces available on Unix, and thus allows NT applications to run on various Unix variants.

MainSoft, which last year renewed its source license contract with Microsoft, giving MainSoft access to next-generation APIs that will be part of Windows 2000, has promised that Windows 2000 applications will work on Linux and Unix variants.

Officials with Bristol, which has not come to terms with Microsoft for a Windows 2000 source license, say they are not sure how well Wind/U will interoperate with new Win32 APIs that are part of Microsoft's forthcoming operating system release.

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