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October 23, 1995

THE AGE OF MIRACLES IS NOT QUITE PAST: FRIENDS AGAIN, IBM, BULL TEAM ON MULTIPROCESSOR DESKTOPS

By CBR Staff Writer

IBM Corp and Compagnie des Machines Bull SA are busily involved in developing a set of multiprocessor desktop machines that will be launched next year, according to Bill Nohilly, vice-president for advanced systems development at IBM’s Power Personal Systems Division. The machines will be initially two-way, but four-way versions will follow. Initial offerings will be PowerPC Reference Platform-compliant, Nohilly said, but the intention is to make them upgradable to the new Common Hardware Reference Platform standard. Nohilly said this does not imply that IBM will necessarily sell Mac OS on its machines, Who would buy System 7 from IBM? he asked. Rather, he said, the upgrade is designed to give data processing managers the comfort of knowing they have operating system flexibility if they need it in the future. Nohilly said that Bull is taking the lead development role with the boxes, which have just gone into initial testing. The development alliance has been subject to significant scrutiny in recent months, with rumours – and plenty of evidence – of friction and dissent. However, both Nohilly and RS/6000 Systems Development vice-president Randy Groves are adamant that everything is going smoothly now, although he admitted there have been some rough patches in the past. Now that we have got one actual product out, it’s going much more smoothly… the relationship is better than it has been since the early days of PowerPC euphoria.

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