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May 22, 1988

AT&T HINTS AT SPIN-OUT OF UNIX AS COMPUTER SALES SOAR

By CBR Staff Writer

In his first public effort to mollify the AT&T critics who have formed the rival Open Software Foundation, AT&T Data Systems chief Robert Kavner told customers, consultants and analysts in San Francisco late last week that AT&T might spin off development and licensing of Unix to an independent body in a couple of years. It could not be done yet because I do not think Unix is strong enough: it needs a couple more years of market acceptance. Kavner acknowledged that as AT&T was the creator of Unix it could bring products to market three months ahead of the competition – and thought the industry should live with that. More than three months means you’re doing something naughty. After the meeting, Kavner told Reuters that computer sales were growing dramatically and and that Data Systems was ahead of its financial plan this year. He committed to profits in 1990 and said it would consider acquisitions, but they were not essential. The deal behind the Unix rift – p2.

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