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July 14, 1987


By CBR Staff Writer

The Santa Cruz Operation has begun shipments of the SCO Xenix 386 System V operating system and the SCO Xenix 386 System V development system for 80386-based, AT-compatible personal computers to its OEM and value-added reseller customers. The current release of SCO Xenix 386 runs on 386 AT-class personal computers such as those manufactured by Compaq, Wyse, Zenith, Olivetti, Xtra Business Systems (Alcatel) and Texas Instruments. It also runs on IBM AT-compatible machines that have been turbocharged with a 386 accelerator card such as the Intel INboard. Santa Cruz says that Xenix System V has an installed base of over 200,000 machines, and reckons that it accounts for a greater market share than all other Unix systems combined. It also reckons that among machines built around Intel microprocessors, Xenix is installed on over 90% percent of all systems running any Unix system version. By taking advanatage of the 80386’s 4Gb virtual address space, the new version can accommodate large applications, such as CAD/CAM, artificial intelligence and desktop publishing that were once applicable only to 32-bit dedicated workstations, minicomputers and mainframes. The availability of high-resolution graphics devices for personal computers makes it attractive to port 32-bit applications from environments such as VAX and Sun workstations to 386 AT-class machines, it reckons, claiming that it is much easier to adapt them for Xenix than any other Personal Computer environment. The 32-bit native-mode code used in the Xenix 386 and generated by the development system is claimed to give dramatic performance gains when optimised using the Microsoft C Compiler release 5.0 – some large 286 programs have run more than 100% faster, simply by recompiling them with the new compiler it declares. That, coupled with the increased performance of the 80386, can yield as much as a 600% improvement over the same application running on a 286. MultiView and VP/ix will soon be available under Xenix System V to improve the windowing environment and user interface. VP/ix permits multiple PC-DOS and Xenix applications to be run concurrently from the system console, under the control of the virtual screen manager. In multi-user systems, it expands to permit ASCII terminals to run multiple PC-DOS and Xenix applications concurrently via a serial port connection, under control of an enhanced virtual screen manager. The Santa Cruz Operation Xenix 386 System V operating system and the companion development system sell for $695 apiece. The complete Santa Cruz Xenix system, which also includes the Xenix text processing system, is $1,495.

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