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June 25, 1990


By CBR Staff Writer

Hewlett-Packard Co has been on a press tour in the US touting its claim to be the world’s biggest Unix supplier with an estimated 44% of the RISC-based Unix market, and at least the equal of Sun Microsystems Inc overall, with turnover last year of $2,100m from Unix alone. The company gives a lot of the credit for its position to its competitors. According to general systems division manager Bernard Guidon, only DEC and IBM really count, and DEC is still paying lip-service to Unix while trying to persuade potential Ultrix customers to take VMS instead, while IBM still hasn’t got its Unix act together and is sowing new confusion by saying that it will implement OSF/1 on the PS/2 next year and on the RS/6000 one day. AT&T, Unisys and NCR are dismissed as second or third tier, and newcomers like Pyramid Technology and Sequent Computer Corp are too young to give major customers that warm and cuddly feeling, despite the strength of their technology. Guidon expects things to remain pretty much this way for at least two years, with only IBM and its new RS/6000s possibly posing much of a threat. DEC could wake up, but then it’ll be playing a catch-up game. Towards the end of the year, Hewlett, which is already proud of its reliable systems, is planning to add 9000 Series 800 machines that’ll be the first Unix boxes using a processor fall-over scheme for automatic recovery.

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