The Information Technology Users Standards Association, ITUSA, is setting up a pilot to test the viability of X400 message handling products currently available. Chairman Ray Walker believes that only a tiny number of users are using the X400 messaging standard at present despite a great deal of interest being expressed. Two factors are to blame for the low usage, claims Walker: lack of available products and the high tariffs charged by British Telecom for its public message handling service. A government report released last month which reviewed the progress of suppliers in implementing the Open Systems Interconnection standard was also critical of manufacturers slow progress in the X400 arena. Now the ITUSA wants to raise the profile of X400 and has invited 40 members to take part in a two-phase trial which will first test simple X400 communication between MS-DOS micros, and second, test dedicated hub systems with store-and-forward facilities. Other, more demanding tests are to be introduced at a later date, which will introduce links with other systems and services, and investigate a variety of information types.
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