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July 15, 1998

SCO AND COMPAQ STILL DISCUSSING SHARED UNIX APIS

By CBR Staff Writer

Santa Cruz Operation Inc says it is still holding discussions about which Unix interfaces can be shared between its UnixWare 7 operating system and the Bravo Unix being created by Compaq, its DEC and Tandem units, and Sequent Computer Systems Inc. SCO’s Unix is currently being plumbed with all of the 64-bit features needed to support Intel Corp’s Merced processor. Bravo Unix will support Merced and the Alpha RISC. SCO says the goal is to provide a common development environment so ISVs can write one version of an application that will work on both platforms with minimal changes. SCO claims one advantage over other Unix-on- Merced wannabes such as Sun and HP is that because it has been able to use a Merced emulator built specifically for UnixWare, it’s already been able to fix some of the interface problems that competitors will only begin to find out about further down the development curve. UnixWare has a switch that enables developers to target programs to use all of UnixWare’s 64-bit functions – and ultimately execute on Merced itself. Existing 32-bit UnixWare applications will run unchanged on Merced but will perform best with a recompile. SCO aims to pick up 10% to 20% of existing Unix SVR3 and SVR4 customers. Meantime, SCO is touting a billboard advertising campaign being co-promoted by Compaq which calls attention to the $1.3bn revenue Compaq did selling SCO UnixWare- based servers last year. SCO’s campaign is in part a response to recent comments by Compaq CEO Eckhard Pffiefer which indicated its own Bravo Unix would be the its preferred choice of Unix operating system in future, casting some doubt over its relationship with SCO (CI No 3,404).

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