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June 5, 1988

INTERACTIVE FORMS NEW UNIT TO MAKE SENSE OF UNIX SCHISM

By CBR Staff Writer

A major effort to lift the fear, uncertainty and doubt engendered in the Unix community by the formation by IBM and partners of the Open Software Foundation rival to AT&T is being mounted by Interactive Systems Corp, Santa Monica, California. Although highly regarded in the Unix world, Interactive Systems might be thought to be too small to mount a successful campaign for Unix sanity, but in March it won itself a financially and commercially powerful backer when it agreed in principle to be acquired by Eastman Kodak Co (CI No 892). Interactive is clearly disturbed at the potentially damaging schism in the Unix world, and it says its plan is to establish an Open Systems Technology Center in Boston to provide support services to systems manufacturers and major end users who are working to comprehend the ramification of the launch of the Open Software Foundation, and to offer assistance in planning Unix strategies over the next several years. Interactive chief executive John White believes that the Foundation announcement will require a complete evaluation of operating system strategies in the Unix arena. The computer industry will need to understand AIX and System V.3 along with the evolving directions of each system, he says. Interactive’s active involvement with IBM in the development of AIX, together with its development role on Unix V.3 for AT&T and Intel on the 80386 processor, gives our company the unique capability to assist others in understanding the intricacies of these systems, their differences and product possibilities. The formation of the Foundation is a milestone in the evolution of the computer industry and represents a clear declaration of the significance of Unix to the major systems manufacturers, he goes on. Once a systems manufacturer makes a commitment to a Unix version, it will have to address Open Software/System V.3 compatibility, possible migration paths, applications portability and interconnection strategies. The new Technology Center will begin operations on July 1, offering ass essments of AIX, Unix V.3 and X/Op en systems as well as their inter relationships; comprehensive semin ars on each system, with regular updates reflecting new release spe cifications; compatibility planning services tailored to the needs of individual manufacturers; develop ment and licensing of Unix V.3 and Open Systems Foundation compatibil ity modules; detailed design stud ies for system implementations; and porting and development services.

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