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April 21, 1992


By CBR Staff Writer

Sun Microsystems Inc, Mountain View, California is going after the MS-DOS market with its latest free-standing business, SunSelect, the eighth it has created since it decided to fragment itself (CI No 1,903). Carl Ledbetter, SunSelect’s general manager, perhaps best remembered by the industry as the erstwhile chief executive of ETA Systems, Control Data Corp’s supercomputer subsidiary, calls his new charge Sun’s heretical sect. His business licenses him to fraternise with the enemy and casts him in the role of a Microsoft Corp independent software developer and OEM customer, complete with an early access copy of Microsoft Windows New Technology. What exactly SunSelect will do with NT remains to be seen, and it will be dependent in some ways on how well NT penetrates the market. SunSelect, however, is already toying with notions of implementing Sun’s Network File System for it and is in early discussions to explore points of synergy with Microsoft, which is currently looking to Digital Equipment Corp to buck up its NT networking capabilities. But all that is off in the future. What SunSelect is pushing immediately is PC-NFS 4.0, the latest version of PC-NFS now supporting Windows 3.1 as well as MS-DOS 5.0, the first networking product to do so, it claims, as well as SunPC, the new MS-DOS and Windows emulator and NetWare SunLink, a NetWare-to-Sparc connection. NetWare SunLink puts Sun on a path already trodden, it seems, by almost everyone else in the industry. However, Ledbetter claims that SunSelect will make more of its relationship with Novell Inc than most, promising additional products and distribution. Novell’s relationship with Unix Systems Laboratories Inc and their Univel IncDestiny joint venture for the desktop market has been a sore point for Sun, which wanted a NetWare+Solaris-on-Intel distribution pact for itself.

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