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July 2, 1990


By CBR Staff Writer

Last week AT&T’s 18-month-old Unix Software Operation made its name change official (CI No 1,455). From now on it’s going to be known as Unix System Laboratories Inc. Currently, it’s a company with only one employee, its president Larry Dooling. How to move the Unix development team, staunch Bell Laboratories boys and girls, out from under Ma Bell was an issue that contributed to the demise of the Unix Software Operation-Unix International Unity talks with the Open Software Foundation. To ease the transition, much fretted over by AT&T Unix higher-ups, all of the Software Ooperation’s present staff, except Larry Dooling, are still officially AT&T employees contracted out to Unix System Laboratories. This week, they’ll be made an offer to join the new organisation and given until November to make up their minds. By then Unix Labs should no longer be wholly-owned subsidiary of AT&T, the rechristening being merely a prelude to an expected private placing that could see the sale of 30% to 40% by AT&T sometime this summer. Unix Labs spokesman Dick Muldoon last week said the mood inside was buoyant and progressive. The company, he said, currently estimates that the folks leaving Bell for Unix Labs will be more than expected. Unix System Laboratories, which was invested with all of AT&T’s intellectual property rights in Unix, has been in existence since November, shortly after AT&T Data Systems Group president Bob Kavner made his first peace overtunes to the Open Foundation board. The unit delayed making the restructuring public, not only because of uncertainties over how the Unity talks would go – but also because of the time needed to reincorporate its European and Asian operations, both formerly part of AT&T International, as wholly-owned Unix Labs subsidiaries.

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