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April 12, 1992

USL SAYS PORT ONCE FOR DESTINY APP ON FIVE ARCHITECTURES

By CBR Staff Writer

In one of the most tantalising promises yet made in the computer industry, Unix System Laboratories Inc is claiming that independent software vendors who port their applications to its Destiny desktop implementation of Unix System V.4 will only have to do so once to have it run on the disparate architectures of Intel Corp, Sun Microsystems Inc Sparc RISC, MIPS Computer Systems Inc RISC, Hewlett-Packard Co PA RISC and IBM Corp’s RS/6000 RISC. The claim, if proved, would of course, create tremendous market share and persuade many ISVs still hanging back from Unix to make the great leap forward. USL president Roel Pieper says the technology that would make such a move possible is not yet formalised, indicating that it will be either the Open Software Foundation’s Architecture Neutral Distribution Format or a binary conversion. A decision will have to be made in short order if a technology is to be in place by November or December when the Sparc and MIPS/Advanced RISC Computing implementations of the Destiny desktop operating system are due, a timetable suggested by Pieper. Speaking at an analysts’ breakfast in Chicago last week where Comdex Spring took place, Pieper alluded to such a breakthrough as removing the firewalls between the various microprocessors. ICL and Fujitsu Ltd are USL porting partners for the Sparc version of Destiny; Ing C Olivetti & Co SpA for MIPS. USL is known to be interested in porting the desktop Unix to as many volume architectures as possible, says it is progressing its talks with Hewlett-Packard and IBM to gain their cooperation in moving Destiny to their architectures. USL meanwhile, is anticipating expanding its Destiny distribution channels in Europe beyond Univel Inc and classic OEM arrangements, with the formation of as many as ten new joint ventures this year alone. Pieper, who declined to identify his potential partners, indicated he would be dealing with Europe on a country-by-country basis. Pieper is quite frank about buying customer base, after all this is the result he anticipates from signing all these other new joint ventures this year.

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