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March 9, 1988


By CBR Staff Writer

Unisys Corp yesterday joined the rush to the Sun – Microsystems Corp, that is, announcing that it had signed to use Sun’s SPARC Scalable Processor Architecture in a forthcoming generation of Unix business systems, and that it would be working with AT&T Co to enhance the functionality of the Applications Operating Environment of Unix System V. Its primary thrust will be to extend the use of Unix as a general purpose business operating system, and it aims to work with AT&T on inter alia enhancing high volume transaction processing performance and on creating new development tools. It also intends to offer Unix software that it develops for use on other vendors’ Unix machines, and hints at Unix versions of its Mapper and Linc applications development languages. Up to now, Unisys has bought all its Unix machines OEM – from NCR Corp, Computer Consoles Inc and Arete Systems Corp – and recently placed big extension contracts with each. Use of the SPARC will enable the company to build its own Unix machine for the first time and represents a substantial further commitment to Unix, which currently accounts for about 6% of its business. The software to be developed by Unisys will conform to the emerging Applications Binary Interface, the aim of which is to enable it to be transferred from one conformant Unix machine to another as simply as applications can now be moved between MS-DOS clones from different manufacturers. The whole hearted commitment to Unix by Unisys is one of the biggest boosts yet to those who are touting the operating syst em as the only machine-independent offering for general purpose busi ness computing at all levels of the market from micros to mainframes.

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