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December 1, 1993

WORDPERFECT DENIES TALK THAT IT INTENDS TO SHUT ITS UNIX ARM

By CBR Staff Writer

Refuting persistent US talk that it intends to close its Unix operations, Orem, Utah-based WordPerfect Corp says it has, in fact, developed a C engine to write new versions of its word processing and office applications, and plans to release new products at the end of this year and the start of next. In the past, Wordperfect took MS-DOS assembly code and then translated it into C, but now claims development time has been reduced by two-thirds. It did add, however, that it has cut the number of Unix versions from a high of 29 in 1987 – when it first started in the business – to seven now, and five by next year – it is limiting its activities to those operating systems it believes have the largest market share. NeXT Computer Inc’s object-oriented operating system, NeXTstep, has certainly gone because it is not paying for itself. But, we can expect to see WordPerfect Office 4.0 shipping under Sun Microsystems Inc’s SunOS by December, under Solaris, Hewlett-Packard Co’s HP-UX, IBM Corp’s AIX, the Santa Cruz Operation Inc’s brand of Unix and System V.4 on Intel Corp hardware by the first quarter of 1994. Come February, WordPerfect 6.0 will be announced for shipment under Solaris and SunOS on March 31. Versions for the other environments will follow in the second quarter. Version 6.0 will also include such enhancements as financial spreadsheet integration to tap growth in the uptake of Unix in the commercial sector. WordPerfect says it generated some $20m, 5%, from Unix sales this year, but sees Unix sales growing some 15% in 1994.

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