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September 21, 1995


By CBR Staff Writer

Novell Inc duly admitted yesterday that its buying Unix System Laboratories from AT&T Corp had been a mistake, and handed on its main contribution to the Unix world, the UnixWare mass market low-end iAPX-86 Unix to Santa Cruz Operation Inc in return for shares representing 17% of the enlarged equity and a revenue stream of as much as $84m between now and 2002 based on the performance of the business Santa Cruz has bought. The deal mirrors Microsoft Corp’s dumping of Xenix onto Santa Cruz in return for a similar stake almost a decade ago. Santa Cruz will also take a licence to Novell’s NetWare Directory Services and other NetWare 4 technologies as the basis for future networking services. It plans to merge SCO OpenServer Release 5 and UnixWare 2 to create a standard high-volume Unix with integrated NetWare networking services, for 1997. At the top end, Hewlett-Packard Co is to take over development of 64-bit Unix specifically for the future merged Precision Architecture-iAPX-86 chip family it is developing with Intel Corp. Santa Cruz will acquire Novell’s Unix intellectual property so it sounds as if it will collect royalties on the licensed Unixes of the likes of IBM Corp, Silicon Graphics Inc, ICL Plc and a host of others. It will also hire a number of Novell employees. Novell says it will also work with Hewlett-Packard to produce a high-performance implementation of its NetWare Directory Services and File/Print Services for HP-UX, and to integrate the former with the Distributed Computing Environment. No direct mention was made of any of the other Unix licensees.

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