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June 2, 1994


By CBR Staff Writer

ICL Plc and Novell Inc have put their names to a formal three-pronged development and marketing agreement (CI No 2,413). First, ICL officially confirmed that it is developing a Sparc version of UnixWare 2.0, Novell’s multiprocessing version of System V.4.2, for its new TeamServer and SuperServer range of machines – it will have the right to sell shrink-wrapped binary versions of UnixWare for Sparc to customers and on the OEM market, but not to sell source code. The implementation is set for release in the first half of 1995. ICL also affirmed that UnixWare 2.0 for Sparc and iAPX-86 will replace its own DRS/NX implementation of Unix System V.4 on its new systems, when available. Despite the amount of research and development time and money ICL has put into DRS/NX, the firm says it decided on the move when it chose to upgrade to System V.4.2 this time last year. In preparation, it stripped out certain functionality and now sells it as an option in the form of the ManageWare suite of middleware. This sits above DRS/NX, and includes an high availability manager, back-up and print services. ICL also intends to sell ManageWare as an option for UnixWare 2.0, Windows NT, and Santa Cruz Unix. It says the move to UnixWare was driven both by price – UnixWare sells for $180 a copy, with volume discounts of up to 60% – and the need for brand awareness, especially important now that Fujitsu Ltd is selling TeamServer and SuperServers in the US and Japan, where ICL and DRS/NX are unknown. No-one is making much of a return on operating systems any more anyway, it adds. The company will also position UnixWare as an application server for the large installed base of personal computer local networks running NetWare that it inherited from Nokia Data. Meanwhile, ICL will release a multithreaded version of DRS/NX – described as UnixWare 2.0 without NetWare protocols – this month as an interim measure, and will continue to support DRS/6000 users, although a UnixWare conversion to the machines will follow in time. Under the second phase of the agreement, ICL is also developing a NetWare Loadable Module version of its TeamOffice groupware, which will run under NetWare 3.X and 4.X. This will be out by late summer. A subsequent release, due later in the year, will be integrated with Novell’s MHS message transport protocol and packaged as a Novell Red Box product. This will be sold through Novell distribution channels in Europe – other local deals may follow. A third version of TeamOffice is also scheduled for NetWare 4, with directory synchronisation for NetWare Directory Services, while yet another release will support the AppWare environment. Third, ICL and Novell will jointly add X.400 protocols to NetWare and UnixWare 2.0. This will mean users can exchange messages between Novell’s MHS message transport systems and X.400 mail systems. The two will also work on making NetWare Directory Services interoperate with X.500 mail systems: the products will roll out over the next 12 months.

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