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  1. Technology
August 2, 1988


By CBR Staff Writer

With full page ads in key international newspapers on July 12, followed up by a trenchant piece in the Wall Street Journal over the name of its chief executive Michael Blumenthal (CI No 982), Unisys Corp is clearly thoroughly exercised at the threat posed by the schism in the Unix world. The full page ads in the International Herald Tribune and the Financial Times extolled the virtues of open systems and castigated the two camps for not coming together and settling their differences. The advert described the feuding between the two sides as disgraceful and advised users: If you think a unified Unix is important, tell your computer company. And last week, Unisys also issued a carefully worded statement on the Open Software Foundation to journalists attending its Open Systems seminar in Nice, France. According to the statement, the company recognises the concern of Foundation founders that AT&T was moving Unix towards a restricted hardware technology through its relationship with Sun Microsystems, but says that the use of IBM’s AIX as the basis for the Foundation’s future product is an equally serious concern. In the period between the release of the next version of AIX and the first release of the Foundation product – at least nine months – a concern is that IBM would enjoy a substantial competitive advantage. Unisys said it was working behind the scenes to re-unify the industry around a single, vendor-neutral development activity for the Unix operating system. It adds that it will maintain its relationship with AT&T – it struck up a joint deal to develop commercial software with AT&T back in March, when it also announced its intentions to use Sun’s Sparc processor for a new series of products – but will also maintain a continuing dialogue with the Open Software Foundation.

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