Apple to take aim at Windows server users with Tiger’s new NT migration tool

“Microsoft’s competitors smell blood in the enterprise waters. They are swarming around NT 4.0 like sharks. And Apple is among the school of circling predators. Like Red Hat, Novell, Sun and other vendors, Apple sees a silver lining in Microsoft’s decision to phase out support for NT Server 4.0 at the end of this year,” Mary Jo Foley reports for Microsoft Watch.

“To capitalize on potentially disenfranchised Windows server customers, Apple is planning on providing an NT migration tool as part of the Mac OS X Server 10.4 Tiger release, due out in the first half of 2005. It will be built right into the server operating system. (The tool also will enable users to migrate from Windows Server 2000 to Tiger, Apple officials said.) The new tool will aid companies in migrating user and group account information from an existing Windows primary domain controller automatically into Apple’s Open Directory,” Foley reports. “This will allow Tiger Server to take over as the primary domain controller for Windows clients ‘and even host Windows users’ home directories, group folders, roaming profiles and shared printers,’ according to Apple.”

Full article here.


  1. Yes Exchange Server made by Apple. That�s what I need. Steve… copy the Project software at the same time please ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  2. Well, it would solve a lot of the headaches from viruses and such. Cost effective in the short and long term.

    The windows crowd boast about the “choice” in hardware they are blessed with, but this proves that Apple hardware is a valid choice. Servers are like the engine of a car. Every car has one. They do what they are supposed to do, and that is power a car. A server has to serve users and the corporation and if this hardware can do it, then it is a no brainer. We will see whether anybody cares about solutions or whether they want to guarantee themselves jobs and power.

  3. This might be a clue that Tiger will ship early next year. It’s no good offering a server platform with a Windows NT migration tool 6 months after MS has dropped support, people still using NT would have already decided on a replacement by then.

  4. craig.. wow.. good point.. that would seem rather anticlimactic

    i kinda hate the way thurrott interprets 2005 1st half as.. June30th 2005.. dont you?

  5. Look at how slow the Windows world has responded to the warnings of IE’s security exploits. Do you imagine that as soon as NT’s support disappears, the networks will ALL be replaced just as quickly? Ya, right. If anything, the timing is perfect. As soon as the networks start to fall apart and the IT guys are lost without their 1800 numbers, they will have a more viable and cost effective solution. Keep it simple.

  6. “the IT guys are lost without their 1800 numbers”

    WTF, most IT guys and gals worth their salt are able to trouble-shoot their systems without the need of 1800 numbers. Who do you think answers those calls?

    I am a long time Mac user (I’m getting ready to by my twenty-first mac when the 2.5GHz models ship!) and I am an “IT guy”. When I started working for my current employer they had a Windows only work environment, now we have several Macs and I almost have the CEO convinced to switch all of the systems.

    I have never had to call a 1800 number when working with NT 4.0 or Server 2000 and can’t imagine a time when I would have to. The real problem will be if Microsoft stops issueing updates and patches. Windows is bad enough when you are getting regular updates but if those stop, then that will be a major problem.

    I am willing to bet that Microsquish will do the same thing with this that they did with Windblows 98. They will keep supporting it due to the number of complaints they will recieve. I think they are even greater fools then evers if they actually drop support for NT 4.0 before a server version of Shlonghorn is actually shipping. As the article points out, there are a lot of venders circling and Apple is looking like a great solution!

  7. BTW, I installed alternate browsers on all of my companies Windows machines as soon as I heard about the warnings of IE’s security exploits. We already use Safari on all of our Macs.

  8. ” WTF, most IT guys and gals worth their salt are able to trouble-shoot their systems without the need of 1800 numbers. Who do you think answers those calls?” – dab2

    True. And maybe you are one of them, but really. Realistically, what is the percentage of IT people who get the job just by passing their MCSE test without knowing anything about practical knowledge. I was at a career fair once when there was a woman complaining that people passed MCSE test by memorizing books on how to pass the MCSE test and it’s no longer an indication of how much knowledge one has. But the problem is, people still use it as a measure. Yet another anecdote: some of the IT “guys” at my old school knew Windows less than I, a Mac user, did. True, there are many excellent IT people out there who managed complex network without getting so much problem, but listen to the complains about how bad IT support in some companies is. They vastly outnumber the good ones.

    There are other reasons why Windows support industry is such a huge business other than Windows marketshare.

  9. The true killer app for switching is search. Think about the concept of spotlight brought to an organizational file server (or group of servers). One of the big issues in a corporation is knowledge management, and perhaps a web interface or some sort of interface to the data stored on the file servers so it could be searched in Spotlight sort-of fashion would be killer.

    Apple will also have about a 2-year headstart on Microsoft in this field, so perhaps that will allow them to make some corporate inroads.

  10. I can’t wait for the Tiger release. I am definately going to look at migrating to Open Directory. If anyone out there is pondering a migration from an NT 4.0 Domain to Microsoft’s Active Directory, don’t do it. I’ve been there, done that, and I’ve had nothing but problems. Sure you gain more functionality with Active Directory, but you pay a price for that. More functionality means the system is more complicated to code, so it should be no suprise to anyone that Microsoft fails to deliver in this respect. Once again, Microsoft earns their nickname, “Microslop”. I used to be a die hard Microsoft guy. Hard not to be living in Redmond. Things have come full circle since I’ve started using OS X and Linux distros. The faster I can get the “Microslop” servers off the network, the better.

    Bring on the Tiger!

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