With sales still in little more than single figuresafter five years of marketing its Series 63 Unix minicomputer – the white hope machine developed in the US with GEC’s A B Dick office systems company – GEC Computers has thrown in the towel on the machine and put it on a care-and-maintenance basis, with the pro-mise that the handful of users will continue to be supported – for at least another seven years. The tiny computer manufacturing and marketing company within the big GEC group will divert all resources and personnel which had been employed on the Series 63 back to the original mainstay of the business, the bit-slice Series 4000, specifically the current 4100 generation of 32-bit machines and its highly-regarded Nucleus operating system kernel. Long a neglected backwater within the company, GEC Computers is now promised a place in the sun, with the acquisition of Micro Scope Plc the first of several steps in a programme planned to take the firm intonew commercial sectors. Further acquisitions are also promised. The 4100 will be steered more firmly into value-added network, process control and other real-time applications. GEC’s Unix thrust will now be with the Series 21 and Series 42 workstations bought OEM from Sun Microsystems. The weakness of the Series 63 was underlined by the fact that GEC Software preferred a High-Level Hardware Ltd Orion.