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November 7, 1991


By CBR Staff Writer

Digital Equipment Corp is expected to announce details of its strategy to license its VMS operating system to other manufacturers sometime in February: the company has confirmed that it intends to license technology – both hardware and software – but it is maintaining a coy silence on the specifics. It seems highly likely that the company wants to rally supporters to its forthcoming Alpha RISC in the same way that Hewlett-Packard Co is doing with Precision Architecture, and no doubt feels that it is so late to the party that it needs to offer an additional inducement – and VMS is the one proprietary operating system widely enough used to be attractive. DEC also wants to have Microsoft Corp’s forthcoming Windows NT operating system implemented on the Alpha RISC, and has changed its mind on Unix, saying that it will put both Ultrix and the Santa Cruz Operation Inc Open Desktop on it. DEC is keen to stress that its long-term strategy is one based on openness and it believes that other vendors would be interested in exploiting the thousands of applications for VMS, and conceeds that at some point, VMS and Alpha could be added to the Advanced Computing Environment specification. DEC’s new direction puts a big question mark over its commitment to the MIPS Computer Systems Inc R-series RISCs.

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