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July 7, 1987


By CBR Staff Writer

When IBM announced the Personal System/2 family in April, it said that a subset of its AIX implementation of Unix would be available someday for the 80386-based Model 80 and that it would run PC-DOS 3.3 as a task (CI No 655), it gave no further details of its plans. It has now however revealed that it has signed up Locus Computing for joint development of AIX for the Model 80. IBM has said that the fruits of the agreement will fall into its program product category, which means that IBM sells and supports them, and recommends that customers build their corporate business on them, with IBM committed to enhancing and maintaining them. This was not the case when PS/2 was announced. As Locus points out there are two ball games in town in the MS-DOS under Unix arena: Locus with its Merge 386; and the combined forces of Interactive Systems and Phoenix Technologies touting VP/ix. Locus sees IBM’s endorsement of its product as a feather in its cap but grudgingly admits that it is not an exclusive agreement. Interactive Corp still has an Unix collaboration agreement with IBM and is continuing to develop products with IBM for the PS/2. No dates have been announced for AIX but Locus says that the PS/2 is no more difficult to port to than any other 80386-based machine although device drivers have to be written for the new Microchannel. AIX is currently an implementation of Unix System V.2 but Locus would not say whether the new implementation would be a V.3 upgrade. Locus added that its implementation of X Window will be ported to the system and implied that its other products such as PC-Interface would also be there. Locus sees Unix on the PS/2 as the appropriate alternative to OS/2 where a multi-user environment is wanted.

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