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September 10, 1997updated 01 Sep 2016 6:19pm


By CBR Staff Writer

Sun Microsystems Inc is buying French microkernel company Chorus Systemes SA like we said it would (CI No 3,243), but is giving little away about its plans for the technology, except it’s to be housed in a new Embedded Systems Software group within SunSoft. Chorus’ real-time embedded Chorus/Jazz product implements JavaOS on top of a Mach-based microkernel. Undoubtedly Sun will use Chorus/Jazz to shore up its problematic JavaOS operating system and to run on the embedded system designs Sun’s recent Diba Inc acquisition will come up with. Diba lives within Sun Microelectronics. As Lucent Technologies Inc has observed however – see separate story this section – neither Chorus or JavaOS offers a distributed, networked application environment. With the acquisition, Sun also picks up Chorus’ top-tier telecoms clients including Alcatel, Matra, Lucent and Motorola. That Chorus was able to get itself bought by Sun at all is regarded by former partners as a remarkable exit strategy for a company whose raison d’etre, microkernels, was largely discredited following a number of high-profile microkernel failures such as IBM Corp’s aborted plan to layer multiple operating systems atop a single micorkernel underpinning. One of those former partners, Santa Cruz Operation Inc, said it considered buying Chorus a couple of years ago but the asking price was too high. Chorus subsequently let it down on a specific customer development and SCO terminated its relationship with the French concern. What happens to Sun’s existing Embedded Java technology following the Chorus acquisition remains a mystery, likewise its relationship to Personal Java, although we do know the webphone Alcatel demonstrated at Sun’s recent Personal Java introduction was running Chorus/Jazz. $10m Chorus was founded in 1986 by OSI seven layer stack creator Hubert Zimmermann.

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