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November 23, 1993


By CBR Staff Writer

Shareholders in the Standards Promotion and Application Group SA, SPAG, intend to disband the organisation and hope to move existing staff into several other consortia addressing similar issues – X/Open for one. The Standards Group is in discussions with various such organisations at the moment although X/Open Co Ltd said it wasn’t aware of being in dialogue with the Standards Group – and expects to announce which personnel will be transferred where within a month. The incorporated company will remain intact as a legal entity for the time being as a parking place for the Standards Group’s intellectual property rights, however – the company will be terminated in a non-defined period of time, probably sometime in 1994, the Standards Group said. Its main product is the Process to Supp-rt Interoperability, which provides users with the necessary documentation to determine what common functionality any given Open Systems Interconnection products have, so as to reduce the risk of them not working together. The Standards Promotion Group was set up in 1985 by ICL Plc, Ing C Olivetti SpA, Siemens Nixdorf Informationssysteme AG, Compagnie des Machines Bull SA, British Telecommunications Plc, Alcatel NV, Digital Equipment Corp, Hewlett-Packard Co and IBM Corp.

Financial difficulties

The decision to disband it has now been taken though, because, according to the Group, the Process to Support Interoperability is sufficiently mature to warrant company expansion worldwide. But, as many of the shareholders are in financial difficulties, they are not prepared to finance this move, preferring to take advantage of established outlets elsewhere. This is simply a straightforward business decision, the Standards Promotion and Applications Group says. Since its creation in 1985, The Standards Group’s major contributions to open communication systems apart from the Interoperability Process have been the initial set of functional standards, the Guide to the Use of Standards, which later became the core of Open Systems Interconnection, and its Integrated Test Tool for conformance testing.

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