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May 10, 1993


By CBR Staff Writer

SunSoft Inc last week launched version 4.0 of Interactive Unix, its Unix System V/386 3.2 implementation pitched squarely at the Santa Cruz Operation Inc market for Intel Corp systems with up to 20 users. SunSoft claims many Santa Cruz Unix and Open Desktop applications now feature among the 5,000-odd software packages it says are up under the operating system. Enhancements include distribution on a 150Mb tape, support for file names of up to 512 characters, symbolic file linking, up to 256Mb system memory, Micro Channel Token Ring, boot loadable device drivers and remote console login. Users will be able to run Windows applications with the bundling of SunSelect’s Windows-on-Unix Wabi software during the second half of the year. The Interactive software development system includes a new version of Liant Software Corp’s C compiler, which is said to run 80% faster than the previous version, plus a Motif version of the CodeWatch debugger. In addition there are new releases of TCP/IP, Network File System, X Window and the VP/ix MS-DOS 5.0 emulator for Unix. From now until December SunSoft will bundle a copy of Fifth Generation Systems Inc’ FastBack Plus back-up program with Interactive 4.0 free of charge. Interactive 4.0 is priced at $545 – upgrades from 3.X cost $215. Upgrades from Interactive Unix to SunSoft’s Unix System V.4-based Solaris x86 system are $200. SunSoft says its Interactive product won’t be extended to include Unix System V.4 compatibiity – that’s the preserve of its Solaris x86 product – but maintains there is no end-of-life plan for Interactive Unix. New Interactive releases will follow in the second quarter of every year, though there will likely be an interim release later this year, recompiled for Intel’s Pentium chip. SunSoft is awaiting more robust SunPro and MetaWare (back-end) Pentium compilers before doing the job it has a schedule but won’t say what it is – Solaris x86 may also get an interim release compiled for Pentium too, the company says. SunSoft says it hasn’t worked out whether Solaris for the IBM Corp-Motorola Inc PowerPC RISC will be compatible with the PowerOpen environment that IBM is developing for the CPU, but says it will observe all binary standards. SunSoft company claims it did 35% more business on Interactive Unix in 1992 than in the previous year, when the Interactive Systems Corp unit was still owned by Eastman Kodak Co. It claims some 150,000 Interactive Unix licensees and says it added around 75,000 last year – many, but not a great percentage were upgrades. Its big growth markets are South America and Asia. New distributors include Arrow Electronics Inc, Commercial Systems Group Inc and GBC Technologies.

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