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Informix offers free NT database

The company plans to offer a free license for its Dynamic Server database, available to programmers from June 15 until year's end.

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Informix Software is offering its Windows NT database software at a price that's hard to beat: free.

The company plans to offer a free license for its Dynamic Server database, available to programmers from June 15 until the end of the year. Informix also will offer 60 days of support to software developers.

The free software will be available for download from the company's Web site or can be ordered on CD-ROM, said Joe Niemann, vice president of distribution channels at Informix.

Informix will require that downloaders complete a registration form before they receive the software.

Informix product managers are hoping that the giveaway will help the company's momentum in a highly competitive market.

"We are making this offer to seed the market," said Niemann.

Niemann acknowledged that so far, Informix has not delivered on earlier promises to make NT a priority. "We announced last year that we were going aggressively into the NT market, but there was not a lot of substance behind that thrust. Now we are putting a stake in the ground to drive that move," he said.

The company is struggling to gain a foothold in the Windows NT market, where it trails both Oracle and Microsoft.

After staging a mini-comeback, Informix has struggled to boost revenue and win new customers after restating its first-quarter financial results to a net loss last month.

In a separate announcement today, Informix unveiled a new development tool targeted at its installed base.

The tool, Informix Dynamic 4GL, is intended to allow users of the company's older Informix-4GL tool to move existing character-based applications to graphical operating systems, such as Windows 95 and the Macintosh.

The tool is slated to ship in the third quarter. Pricing will be announced at that time.

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