The Unix International roadshow rolled into town for the Unix User show last week, and supremo Peter Cunningham led a panel briefing about the AT&T fan club’s Independent Software Vendor programme announced at the end of last month. Cunningham said that the goal for the programme over the next three years, is to get 30,000 Systen V applications available for an estimated base of 2m Unix users. Some 150 porting centres in 18 countries will be supported by an estimated 10,000 software developers drawn from the ranks of Unix International member companies. At the centres, software developers will get technical support as well as porting guides, and a range of tools to help with the job. Although 1,000 MS-DOS software houses are one of the prime targets, the more difficult task of tempting mainstream computing products onto Unix is also being attempted – tools and utilities for converting OS/400 applications from IBM’s AS/400 range to run under Unix System V.4 will be available in August, conversion guides for Ultrix and AIX are said to be almost complete, and VMS and MVS tools will follow in September. In Europe as elsewhere, Unix International will be targeting a hit list of vertical software applications it would like to have under Unix. Software firms present at the briefing, including Uniplex, JSB Computer Systems and VisionWare, reckoned the main difficulty remains the range of processor architectures and peripheral environments that have to be supported – although they agreed that compatibility between application binary interfaces supporting these various architectures should ease the problem considerably. However Uniplex believes it unlikely that there will ever be a time when it has to produce only one version of its software for all Unix machines – it sees several versions of Unix existing into the long-term future. Cunningham said that the applications binary interface verification suite for Unix System V.4 is now available and is being used by Intel, Motorola, Sparc International and 88open. In Europe, Patricia Arundel, NCR’s UK marketing manager for Unix systems will be joining the Unix International team in July, in readiness for a marketing push that’s planned for the Autumn.