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Microsoft, Fujitsu in server tie-up

Microsoft and Fujitsu will work together to market Windows NT servers, giving the software giant a big boost in the second largest computer market.

Microsoft (MSFT) and Fujitsu will cooperate in the marketing of servers based on the Intel-Windows NT platform, giving the software giant a big boost in the second largest computer market.

The world's leading software firm and the Japan's largest computer manufacturer will work together to promote Fujitsu server computers preloaded with Microsoft's Windows NT operating system, according to a report in Japan's Nihon Keizai Shimbun.

Fujitsu aims to challenge Japanese server market leader NEC Computer, while Microsoft looks to grow the market for servers based on the Intel-Windows NT architecture. These machines compete with servers based on the more established Unix operating system.

NEC currently holds 30 percent of the Japanese server market, according to the Japanese newspaper, while Fujitsu claims about 20 percent; but Fujitsu has been gaining on NEC for the past two years. Fujitsu aims to sell 35,000 servers in fiscal 1997, and 50,000 the following year.

Fujitsu has established a division of 300 software engineers, sales, and customer support staff for dealing with the Windows NT servers. Microsoft will also send 10 staffers to assist the Fujitsu personnel.

The deal could be problematic in light of Fujitsu's close relationship with Sun Microsystems, a vendor of Unix-based workstations and servers, but Fujitsu said it will continue its ties with the California company.