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July 22, 1994

AMDHAL A+ EDITION FOR SOLARIS READY TO GO OUT ON LIMITED AVAILABLITY; COMMON UNIX SHELVED

By CBR Staff Writer

Amdahl Corp expects to announce limited availability of its A+ Edition middleware extensions for SunSoft Inc’s Solaris Unix over the next fortnight or so. The extensions provide the large-scale database support, and the reliability, availability and serviceability that mainframe users expect, and will be offered as optional enhancements to Solaris 2.4, due next month, under the 1993 agreement between the two. A+ Edition has actually been ready to ship since March, Amdahl says, and attributes any delays to internal company politics. It is also possible that A+ Edition will be bundled with Solaris 2.5, but only if SunSoft purchases the intellectual property rights from Amdahl. Meanwhile, version 4.3 of Amdahl’s Universal Time Sharing mainframe Unix is due before the end of the year – a statement of direction is expected within a month. Version 4.3 will include new disk drivers, channel-to-channel Escon links to MVS, and possibly support for the Distributed Computing Environment. Amdahl says revenues from UTS products, growing at only about 5% per year, still make the operating system one of its most profitable businesses. The firm declared that rumours indicating that its wide-ranging OEM deal with Sun meant that it was abandoning UTS development or its 185 UTS customers, were not true, although its UTS development team is down to 40 from a peak of 280 a year or so ago. Amdahl has rights to put a future version of Solaris, beyond 2.4, up on its mainframes, but has no plans to do so at the moment, given the lack of applications for such a hardware-software combination. Meantime, the planned Fujitsu Ltd-ICL Plc-Amdahl common Unix application environment looks to have been shelved indefinitely. Amdahl says the three originally agreed to base the project on UTS, and although it agreed to do around 85% of the work, it sought a commitment from Fujitsu that it would see some return – cash or otherwise – for its work. The firm is, however, still waiting for a reply, although the issue is all but academic now. Nevertheless, Fujitsu has offered Amdahl the choice to opt into its Sparc development alliance with Sun, even though Amdahl says it does not see the relevance of it being involved, given its use of custom mainframe central processing units.

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