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August 29, 1991


By CBR Staff Writer

Peter Norton, founder of Peter Norton Computing, now subsumed into Symantec Corp, sounded off about current industry developments when he delivered the keynote address at the Fed Micro ’91 conference in Washington DC last week. Norton is sceptical that the IBM-Apple Computer alliance will work, and he doesn’t care for Unix at all. According to Microbytes Daily, he described the IBM-Apple alliance as like the lion and the lamb in the Mideast – they were born to do battle with each other, adding that we will never have peace because [making war] is their hobby. [The alliance] is a brief marriage of convenience. It smells like a desperation move. As for Unix, he was uncompromising. I don’t like it, he said. But’s it’s here, especially in government, and being used. It’s here to stay, for better or worse – I think worse. It has an important role to play. It’s heavily mandated in Europe. [In this country] it’s more used in engineering departments and government offices. We don’t need a proliferation of operating systems. The good part is that it offers compatibility across hardware. That’s an illusion but better than nothing. It’s a necessary evil, like OS/2. Norton was charitable about Microsoft including features in MS-DOS 5.0 that were previously the province of his Norton Utilities suite – he said of the new MS-DOS release, it’s wonderful. It obsoleted some of my software. And that’s what it’s supposed to do. I used to be afraid Microsoft would take away my business but they have more important stuff to do than utilities. Now they’ve taken away Unerase and Unformat. That frees us to do other things – that’s the way it’s supposed to work, he said.

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