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April 2, 1989

SOFTWARE MAJORS BACK NEXT AS BUSINESSLAND COMMITS TO $100M WORKS

By CBR Staff Writer

Although initial suggestions that Steve Jobs would be putting his NeXT Inc NeXT Computer System through Businessland Inc were greeted with some scepticism, with the news that the 110-strong company-owned store chain would be taking stations worth $100m wholesale in the first year, the move is now being widely hailed as a positive one, and has encouraged more software developers to come forward with plans to do products for the sleek black 68030 based Unix box that is expected to sell for $10,00 against $6,500 to colleges, starting in July. The Pagemaker desk-top publishing software developer Aldus Corp says that it is particularly interested in NeXT’s object-oriented programming environment, which makes its possible to create modular software components that can be tailored to specific tasks, and plans to do applications. Novell Inc is to offer the Portable NetWare network operating system for the NeXT machine, and reconfirmed its commitment to provide support for workstations based on Sun’s Network File System client-server protocol, such as the NeXT machine, under a future version of NetWare. Other companies doing software for the workstation include Lotus Development Corp and Sybase Inc. Jobs, whose Palo Alto, California firm has sold 1,000 stations since launch, explained his change of heart over the retail market by saying that university officials US-wide had encouraged him to get the box onto the retail market. They told us they think we’ve got a revolutionary product. But they said we’ve got to get it out into a broader market so their students will see it when they get into the workplace after graduating, Jobs said. Following its decision to take on the NeXT box, as well as IBM’s PS/2s under the AIX version of Unix (CI No 1,146), and Apple Computer Inc’s Macintosh under A/UX Unix, Businessland Inc has formed Businessland Advanced Systems to handle high-end products, adding 30 systems engineers, training technicians in systems integration, troubleshooting and local net administration techniques. Sun Microsystems had been wooing Businessland for its next line but now seems to be locked out.

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