British Telecommunications Plc has dicontinued the Motorola 68020-based Unix range of systems it introduced at the beginning of 1989, and is now looking to outside sources for its internal and external hardware requirements. The M6000 line of systems designed by the phone company in-house were first introduced in 1986, but re-launched three years later after only 600 had been sold. The systems were intended to be the Unix system for the multi-million pound Common Office Automation System for Telecom – COAST – along with Zenith Data Systems-sourced M5000 personal computers. The COAST project has been estimated to be worth UKP25 to UKP30m a year throughout the 1990s, and will result in one of the largest distributed office automation systems in the world. Telecom is now reportedly talking to six major Unix suppliers about contracts. Those thought to be in the running include Sun Microsystems, ICL and Pyramid Technology, all of which have recently won major orders from British Telecom. Further orders for ICL’s DRS 6000 kit are expected shortly.