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Hardware firms embrace NT 4.0

Manufacturers of PCs and notebooks, as well as servers, are rushing to support the latest OS version.

Now that Microsoft has sent its Windows NT 4.0 operating systems to manufacturing, the floodgates have opened for hardware vendors declaring support for the upgrade.

Many server vendors are already preloading Windows NT on their systems, but support for NT Workstation, the desktop version of the operating system, has been more limited. Version 4.0, however, is widely expected to be much more popular as a desktop operating system than earlier versions and the hardware vendors are reflecting that expectation by preloading more desktop models, including even notebooks, with NT Workstation.

That doesn't mean that hardware vendors are abandoning Windows 95; most will give the option to customers of ordering Windows 95 or Windows NT, but those that go for NT will get it preloaded on the hard disk instead of having to install the operating system themselves. Most vendors are promising the NT option as soon as it is available from Microsoft, which would mean a flood of NT systems come mid-September. Some vendors, such as Compaq Computer, have announced support on only limited models but intend to add support NT to other systems later this year.

The current version of NT sold 1 million copies--550,000 of copies were NT Workstation--and generated $1 billion in sales during fiscal year 1995, the Microsoft officials said.

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