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-- by Joseph C. Panettieri
Not so long ago the buzzword in Silicon Valley was ATM (Asynchronous Transfer Mode), the high-speed networking technology that promised to bring video to your desktop. While Fast Ethernet stole much of ATM's thunder, it may yet find its way onto your Windows NT network.
Microsoft recently licensed ATM emulation technology from fast-growing Fore Systems, of Pittsburgh, for use in its operating systems. The deal will permit future versions of Windows NT and Windows 95 to run applications-unchanged-in an ATM network, a critical requirement for companies migrating from Ethernet or Token Ring networks.
ATM can carry data, voice and video streams across LANs and wide-area networks at speeds above 155Mbps. While ATM has gained limited popularity in network backbones, it remains too expensive for most LANs. At more than $1,000 per desktop, ATM typically costs several times more than rival 100Mbps Fast Ethernet gear.