Thanks to Nathan Mercer for clueing me into a curious and controversial whitepaper Microsoft has posted to its Web site explaining its position about Novell NDS. According to the paper, which you can find on the Microsoft Web site, "Novell’s NDS for NT is fundamentally flawed. Instead of a solution that offers clear advantages for Windows NT Server and is cost-effective and simple, Novell has delivered an expensive and complex solution, one that offers little to no added value to Windows NT Server. Additionally, since Windows NT Server 5.0, featuring Active Directory, is already in beta testing and will be in customers hands in the near future, there is no reason to undertake the significant effort of planning and deploying NDS for NT. Too much is at risk."

Microsoft refuses to support NDS on Windows NT.

Basically, what's happening here is that Microsoft is releasing its own directory services, called Active Directory, with Windows NT 5.0. The problem, of course, is that NT 5.0 is months away from release, so the company is trying to let the steam of Novell's lead. Novell was enraged by the paper, so it promptly posted a retaliatory whitepaper of its own called "Microsoft won't support their customers, but Novell will." You can find Novell's response on the Novel Web site. The Novell article concludes with, "If you have concerns about Microsoft's threats, let them know about it and then give Novell a call for the support you are denied."

Mike Nash the Windows NT marketing director at Microsoft, dismissed Novell.

"There are no threats," he said. "We just want to help customers.