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April 19, 1994


By CBR Staff Writer

After getting some worried calls from a few customers, Data General Corp wants it to be known that despite the best efforts of IBM Corp and others it has no plans to put SunSoft Inc’s Solaris Unix up on its AViiON servers. It may, however, dip its toe in the water and license the Solaris commands and utilities from SunSoft for a future version of its DG-UX Unix if Novell Inc falls off the Unix curve completely and Sun offers the right terms and conditions. It is interested in ToolTalk too. The Westborough, Massachusetts company says it has had advances from all of the Unix operating system suppliers of late, making it feel like the only game in town. Although Data General has a licence agreement with Novell’s Unix Systems Group, the DG-UX kernel is all its own work, it maintains, having no non-Data General code, and being derived from a 1984 rewrite done for scalability. Data General thought there would come a time when Unix Systems Group would be adding commercial and other enhancements to Unix faster than it could keep up. It hasn’t happened. It pays a royalty, it says, because the Unix Systems Group licence talks not only about ownership of Unix code, but of the underlying principles of the Unix system. Additionally it didn’t want to appear to be out of the Unix System V.4 swim, and says that in any case the royalties it pays are low enough to warrant it. The problem, as Data General sees it, is that Novell simply didn’t realise what it was buying when it bought Unix. It didn’t really know what to do with it and says it is not clear whether it will become the leading Unix operating system supplier or whether it will concentrate on other products. Sun Microsystems Inc, it believes, would like to own the future of Unix, but will Novell challenge it and put in the resources to develop a competing product, it asks. It currently gets its DG-UX commands and libraries from Unix Systems Group. The earliest it would switch camps would be after the next major revision of DG-UX – there’s currently one a year – which is planned for around March 1995.

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