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June 17, 1990

GERMANS CAST DOUBT ON SIEMENS’ COMMITMENT TO OSF/1; SWITCH TO UNIX ON INTEL EXPECTED

By CBR Staff Writer

A spokesman for Siemens AG has confided that, although he wouldn’t like to read it in a newspaper just yet, Siemens is likely to replace the National Semiconductor NS32332 chips used in its MX Unix range with Intel processors. However, the spokesman, who made the revelation to Computerwoche, would not confirm that this was the first step of a general move away from the Open Software Foundation’s OSF/1 Unix derivative into the AT&T Unix System V.4 camp – this is the interpretation that industry observers have been quick to put on the comment. Nonetheless, the rumour that since the Nixdorf acquisition a strong element of time-pressure has crept into the Siemens decision-making process – which could mean, among other things, that Siemens will be unwilling to wait for the promised November launch of OSF/1 – has apparently reached both the warring Unix camps. Not surprisingly, Unix International was the more eager to comment, with Steinar Hoistad, general manager of Unix International Europe enthusing: If indeed Siemens does intend to move over to System V, then it has made the right decision in choosing Intel chips. If Siemens does finally desert the National Semiconductor microprocessor family, about the only significant manufacturer still using the part as the processor for a major computer line will be Encore Computer Corp – and Encore indicates that its future lies with the Motorola 88000 RISC.

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