An embarrassed Microsoft has backed off of its stance on NDS, the Novell directory services product. Earlier this month, Microsoft posted a document to its Web site stating that it would not support Windows NT systems running NDS. The document inferred that Novell's software was poorly written and overwrote key files, making future upgrades impossible. Novell posted a retort to their own Web site soon thereafter, beginning yet another poor public relations moment for Microsoft.

In any event, Microsoft is now assuring its customers that NDS systems will still be supported.

"The fact of the matter is we will support Windows NT server shops that have NDS for NT installed," said Tanya van Dam, a group product manager for Windows NT. "I'm sure we didn't handle it well. I think we could've been clearer. Everybody wants to pick on a vendor-to-vendor controversy. It's been pretty fundamental to interoperate with systems other than NT. We believe interoperability is extremely important.