View all newsletters
Receive our newsletter - data, insights and analysis delivered to you
  1. Technology
February 15, 1989


By CBR Staff Writer

Representatives of Unix International Inc, backers of the original AT&T Co version of Unix have been in Tokyo for the past few days, explaining their activities to the Ministry of International Trade & Industry and to the Japanese computer industry. The delegation, led by chief executive Peter Cunningham, includes Larry Dooling, head of AT&T’s Unix Software Operation Division; Don Herman, chief organisation officer; William Booning, an X/Open Ltd vice-president; and Larry Crume, president of AT&T Unix Pacific, who is resident in Tokyo, plus one representative each from Toshiba Corp, Dr Shigenori Matsushita, and from Fujitsu Ltd, Takeshi Maruyama, general manager of research and planning in the computer systems group. Of the 46 members of Unix International so far signed up, 11 are Japanese and of the 14 principal members, full half come from Japan. No fewer than 130 Japanese hardware and software companies turned up to talk about joining Unix International at a meeting last week, leaving the delegation overwhelmed. Don Herman reiterated that Unix International was not currently holding talks with the Open Software Foundation, although he went over the gory history of the split following increasingly angry talks with AT&T that led to the formation of the Open Software Foundation. Questioned about why so many Japanese companies were interested in joining, the panel indicated that both US and Japanese companies felt they could benefit, the proprietary operating system being the ultimate non-tariff barrier in the computer industry. Although the Japanese government has not followed US and European governments in standardising on Unix, US companies hope that such a move will come, and that it will lead to a liberalisation of Japanese government procurement. It was pointed out that some Japanese companies are members of both Unix Int ernational and the Open Software Foundation, but the man from Toshiba indicated that in his company’s case, Toshiba America had joined the Foundation off its own bat, the $25,000 fee being a budget decision it could make itself, and cheap enough to justify simply on the basis of the information it would receive as a result. Indeed nine or 10 of the 46 Unix International members are also members of the Foundation. The Japanese panellists didn’t see Unix facing any competition from the home-grown Tron operating system for another 10 years. What was X/Open doing in Tokyo? One of its main contributions will be the determination of the specifications of a common Japanese language processor for Unix: this work is being done at AT&T Unix Pacific. Larry Dooling, who heads the new AT&T Unix Software Operations, was tight-lipped the AT&T research and development budget: Hundreds of people are working in research and development, and the budget is too large, he complained. – Anita Byrnes

Websites in our network
Select and enter your corporate email address Tech Monitor's research, insight and analysis examines the frontiers of digital transformation to help tech leaders navigate the future. Our Changelog newsletter delivers our best work to your inbox every week.
  • CIO
  • CTO
  • CISO
  • CSO
  • CFO
  • CDO
  • CEO
  • Architect Founder
  • MD
  • Director
  • Manager
  • Other
Visit our privacy policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.