The up-and-coming minisupercomputer manufacturers, for whom Unix is generally the operating system of choice, have found a key piece of essential software in the shape of an emulation of DEC’s All-In-1 office automation software in an attempt to corner some of the DEC VAX market. The emulation comes from Boston Business Computing Ltd of Lawrence, Massachusetts which also has a product, VCL, which emulates DEC’s Digital Command Language. Desk Executive, the All-In-1 emulation, includes electronic mail, word processing, menu system, and file organiser. Originally written to run under MS-DOS, it now also runs under Unix, the main difference between it and All-In-1 being the system administration, although to the user it looks identical to the DEC product. Boston Business jointly developed the VCL software with Alliant Computer Systems Corp. Alliant will be selling the software on its FX series. Celerity Computing Co and Gould Inc have taken licences for the VCL and Desk Executive products and Multiflow, while according to Computer Systems News, Convex and Elxsi are also on the verge of signing with Boston Business. Boston Business and its third parties will sell the products to DEC users primarily those involved in engineering. Boston Business intends to enhance Desk Executive to in-clude All-In-1 features not already available and set up a European distribution network. The privately held company was set up in 1983 as a service and consultancy and started developing the DEC-like products in 1985 and now numbers 12 staff mainly involved in development work with most of its sales in the MS-DOS world being handled by about 100 computer retail shops in the US. Unix sales will be handled solely by minisuper manufacturers.
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