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February 11, 1988


By CBR Staff Writer

Making good on its promise to give its HP-UX Unix equal weight with its proprietary MPE operating system in its business product line, Hewlett-Packard Co yesterday announced that it will be making its principal office software – including its NewWave applications environment – available under Unix. The company also announced a floating point upgrade for the processor in its HP9000 Model 825SRX Spectrum RISC workstation which it believes makes it the highest-performance workstation on the market. The company justifies this by saying that most current workstations now run at 1 MFLOPS, while the upgrade enables the 825SRX to deliver over 2.0 MFLOPS against 1.1 for the Sun 4/260 and 0.45 for the MicroVAX 3600. The Silicon Graphics 4D/70 is rated at 1.12 MFLOPS. The upgrade is also claimed to increase the MIPS rating to 14 VAX MIPS from 8 MIPS in the current version. The enhancement, which involves a processor board set swapout, also applies to the HP 9000 Model 825S minicomputer, increasing performance more than threefold in some applications. The $10,000 upgrade will be available March 1; the Model 825SRX workstation is $69,500 and the multi-user and Unix server 825S is $42,500. On the subject of office software under Unix, Hewlett says that development of the products will be done in three parallel phases. The HP3000 host-based office and communication services will be reimplemented under the HP-UX version of System V.2, and will be supported by MS-DOS and OS/2 micros running Hewlett’s NewWave application environment. NewWave enables MS DOS users to work across multiple applications simultaneously, and to access data and files from multiple sources without having to know where they are. Second, Hewlett will provide an X Window interface through which MS-DOS and OS/2 systems will be able to run Unix applications – as far as we are aware, this is the first announcement of plans for an X Window facility for MS-DOS and OS/2. And in the third development, NewWave will be implemented under HP-UX and offered on Unix workstations. Hewlett’s enthusiastic endorsement of Unix is beginning to pay off in new business, and the company reports that McDonnell Douglas Manufacturing and Engineering Systems Co has chosen Hewlett as its Unix workstation vendor in an agreement worth $20m in the first year. The machines will be used as platforms for McDonnell’s Unigraphics package. It also has a $16m order from Ford Aerospace and Communications Corp for 767 68020-based HP9000 Model 330 workstations for use in its manoeuvre control system nondevelopment item pact with the US Army.

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