Windows NT Server surpassing Netware in the ’90s: Is this an analogy for Stadia?


Hi all. So obviously there’s been a lot of talk lately about Google’s cloud gaming push, or Stadia as it’s called. And one of the things that gets mentioned is the doubt that goes along with it, seeing as how it’s going to be such an uphill battle vs. the established competitors. But one thing keeps popping up in my mind — now, I’m not a networking admin or expert or anything, but remember back in the day when Netware was pretty much the defacto standard, but then over time in the ’90s, Windows NT Server took over and became the dominant platform? I guess what I’m trying to say is, isn’t this a similar situation? Isn’t it just possible that with enough patience, over time the tables could be turned and Google could somehow come out as the winner here?

Comments (3)

3 responses to “Windows NT Server surpassing Netware in the ’90s: Is this an analogy for Stadia?”

  1. rob_segal

    It's possible for Google to come out the winner, but relationships with game makers will be important. Playstation and Xbox are established console brands with relationships over a decade old. Google is starting from scratch. That's difficult. It's possible, but difficult. They have a very mixed bag when it comes to consumer adoption of their services. Google can't be dismissed though.

  2. Jhambi

    A more apt analogy would be the mobile space. Google was successful in pushing Microsoft out with Android

  3. wright_is

    Netware was a file and printer sharing platform for small to medium PC networks. Big networks tended to use DEC Vax or UNIX based servers with PC clients. The UNIX clients provided NFS, but also the ability to run a lot of bespoke and packaged software.

    Netware could run some software, we had a backup solution that actually ran on the server and there was a third party database, but the server applications were relatively sparse, compared to UNIX.

    Netware needed an additional DOS/Windows driver to be installed to access the server. UNIX needed an NFS driver to access the file and an LPR driver for print services.

    Windows server brought with it POSIX compatibility and a proper application platform, for which there were hundreds of thousands, if not millions of developers. More importantly, it used a protocol that was built into Windows. No more driver incompatibility at that level. It was hard enough getting the network card drivers working sometimes.

    This time around, we have a games industry that is used to working on Sony hardware or in the Windows/Xbox environment. Again, thousands of them. Until now, we don't even know what the Google platform will look like. How easy will it be for developers to cross-develop for it? Will it be Java/Dalvik based, like Android, what sort of features and API will it provide to users? What sort of technology will it use for graphics acceleration? OpenGL? Or will they implement their own DirectX like API? Will it be compatible with current generations of video accelerators, or will they need to get nVidia or AMD to develop new cards for them? Or will they go it alone?

    At the moment, without any details at all, it sounds more like Netware trying to break into an existing Windows Server environment. But we will have to wait and see, what Google is actually offering. The lack of a "console" is its big plus point at the moment, in theory. But what about people who have poor connections? My mobile contract is "up to 500mbps", but at work I get < 0.7mbps... Streaming games in that environment is a non-started. (I'm not saying I play at work, but it is a residential area that has poor 4G coverage.)