The triumvirate of Lotus Development Corp, Intel Corp, and Microsoft Corp have a new version of their joint Expanded Memory Specification, L/I/M EMS. The salient feature of the new specification, which allows MS-DOS users to access memory beyond the original 640Kb limit, appears to be another increase in the maximum memory, to 32Mb from 8Mb. Other features available to software designers who choose to use the new specifications include: larger RAM disk alternative, print buffers and disk caches; memory resident pop-up programs, and better performance from multi-tasking operations. Applications written for the older EMS 3.2 are compatible with the new L/I/M EMS 4.0, and applications for the newer EMS can run on existing EMS 3.2, EEMS, or XMA hardware once the user picks up a new device driver. The new EMS has 15 new functions and 39 new subfunctions, the companies say. Those functions include multiple page mapping, dynamic adjusting of memory allocation (for more efficient use by multiple programs), and far jump and far call simulation. Lotus’ interest in the new specifications stems from the possibilities for improved spreadsheet applications. Lotus said L/I/M EMS 4.0 will complement several new features in release 3 of 1-2-3. The new expanded memory specification practically eliminates limitations on the size of 1-2-3 spreadsheets, Lotus raves, promising that it will play an important role in supporting the new multi-dimensional capabilities of release 3 of 1-2-3, which were first announced in April. Microsoft, for its part, said that L/I/M EMS 4.0 makes possible full Windows support of expanded memory. Intel, Lotus and Microsoft readily admit that the new features were the result of input from a number of third parties, including AST Research, Ashton-Tate, and Borland International. AST’s input was particularly significant, they said. Some of the capabilities of L/I/M EMS 4.0, such as multi-tasking and program code execution in expanded memory, are equivalent to capabilities originally developed by AST for its Enhanced Expanded Memory Specification, EEMS. For its part, AST said it would be backing EMS 4.0 as an industry standard. Intel’s L/I/M EMS 4.0 Developers Kit, which includes a copy of the specification and programming tips, is available immediately from Intel’s Personal Computer Enhancement Operation in Hillsboro, Oregon; no price was given.
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