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Informix rides NT coattails

The golden rule of business is to follow the money. And Informix is making no exceptions.

Database vendor Informix Software (IFMX) is following the IT dollars onto Microsoft's Windows NT operating system.

The company, which hadn't shipped a single bit's worth of non-Unix software until last year, will next week introduce a software bundle, called FastStart, aimed at large companies building data warehouses atop NT.

While a Unix version of the bundle will also be available, NT is clearly the focus of the package. Analysts predict that NT spending will skyrocket this year, as Fortune 500 companies embrace the operating system for new corporate and branch-office applications.

A new study from market research firm International Data Corporation shows that sales of Windows NT servers have exceeded sales of Unix servers for the first time.

As a result, many database software vendors--which still derive the vast majority of their sales from Unix--are taking steps to get ahead of the trend.

The FastStart bundle will include the company's MetaCube 3.0 relational online analytical processing server, to help spot trends and predict market shifts, along with either the Informix OnLine Dynamic Server or OnLine Workgroup Server databases. Buyers of the bundle can also choose to include either Netscape Communications' FastTrack Server or Enterprise Server Web software.

FastStart is scheduled to ship next month. Prices, which include consulting help, start at $64,500 for the Workgroup FastStart bundle, and $82,500 for the Dynamic Server version of the bundle.