Microsoft's interoperability efforts got a credibility boost when the latest version of Services for Unix earned a nomination for best integration solution at a major Linux show. SFU 3.5, released on Thursday, is a finalist for the LinuxWorld Product Excellence Awards in the category of Best Integration Solution. Microsoft's competition in the category is BEA WebLogic Platform 8.1 from BEA Systems Inc. and Enj Ports from BISIL North America Inc.
Winners in the integration category and 10 other categories will be announced Wednesday afternoon from the floor of the IDG LinuxWorld Conference & Expo in New York. The show begins Tuesday and runs through Friday.
While Microsoft's product is not open source, the company's announcement that SFU 3.5 will be free probably helps with the Linux community. Microsoft charged $99 for SFU 3.0, although Microsoft began giving even the 3.0 version of the product away in October.
SFU functions mainly as an interoperability toolset for integrating Unix, Linux and Windows in enterprise networks. The many tools in SFU allow organizations to blend their platforms for single sign-on, file and print accessibility and administration. Microsoft also bills SFU as a Unix migration tool.
Other than the price, SFU 3.5's enhancements include support for Windows Server 2003, improved performance and new versions of many commonly used tools.