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August 10, 1997updated 03 Sep 2016 7:46pm


By CBR Staff Writer

With their stated aim of creating a common Unix binary for Intel Corp computers dashed on the rocks of backwards compatibility, Hewlett-Packard Co and one-time Unix partner Santa Cruz Operation Inc find themselves, Sun Microsystems Inc and the rest of the Unix community engaged in a bitter turf war to see which will prevail once Microsoft Corp’s Windows NT forces have occupied vast tracts of their fragile ecosystem. Where once they use to talk about Unix versus NT, the spin has shifted from Unix versus Unix; plus NT. These days Sun’s even co-opting NT as a virtual Unix operating system, claiming it and NT are the only two Unix games in town. HP’s claiming its Merced processor strategy will slay all Unixes before it, while SCO believes neither has its volume business. Even if it lacks some enterprise credentials, SCO’s bullish that the technologies it’ll appropriate from its swathe of OEMs, including clustering and support for ccNUMA, combined with its Tarantella Java technologies, will propel it forward.


Having cooperated to wrest Unix away from Novell Inc in late 1995, HP and SCO fed the industry a whopping marketing story six months later, saying they’d co-develop specifications for a next- generation 3DA Unix architecture plus an implementation of 64-bit Unix technologies. Turns out the sum total of their work was to exchange some minor pieces of the UnixWare OS and some HP-UX- based software distribution code, and create application programming interfaces for use in their post-64-bit operating systems which they called Lodi. Once the notion of a single Unix binary was deep-sixed SCO declared its own route to 64-bits – Gemini 64 – but says it will use some pieces of Lodi in the three or four Gemini release streams it has planned. The first cut of Gemini will ship in November. There’s no additional co- development on kernel work going forward – apart from swapping some security stuff – and HP’s little concerned for SCO’s prospects now. If [Gemini] does all well and good. If it fails, it doesn’t affect us. Meantime, HP’s planning a big splash for the 64-bit HP-UX 11.0 in September.

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