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Software firms ready to tweak NT

Software manufacturers are lining up to make the operating system work better remotely and with more security.

Software manufacturers are lining up to make Microsoft's Windows NT 4.0 operating system work better remotely, with more security and improved support for notebooks.

In light of concerns that Windows NT 4.0 lacks plug-and-play support and other features that would make it attractive to notebook users, SystemSoft announced two products to make the new OS better suited for portable devices. CardWizard automatically configures resources and lets NT 4.0 users hot-swap PCMCIA cards. PowerProfiler is a management system that extends battery life for notebooks running NT 4.0.

Two companies want to make NT 4.0 bigger and safer. NCR introduced SMP Utilization Manager, software that extends NT's capability to work on NCR servers with 8 and 16 processors. Tandem Computers has recently announced a relationship with Microsoft to extend Tandem's ServerNet clustering technology, which allows several servers to be linked together and run simultaneously, to the NT platform. Tandem also says its ServerWare software will make the operating system harder to crash.

Quarterdeck has announced a fleet of NT 4.0-specific utilities for disk maintenance, file compression, and image editing.

Eicon Technology has added software support for its wide-area network interface cards to NT 4.0. The software drivers, included with the operating system, support frame relay, PPP, X.25, and SDLC networking protocols.

To ensure that the flood of software actually runs with NT 4.0, Microsoft has extended an agreement with VeriTest as the official testing laboratory for Windows 95 applications and peripherals to Windows NT. VeriTest will charge software companies $950 for each product tested; if the product passes, the vendor will be able to put a "Designed for Windows NT" logo on the box.