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January 22, 1987


By CBR Staff Writer

Interactive Systems Corp, Santa Monica, California has joined the Santa Cruz Operation and Microsoft Corp team to sell and develop Xenix on the Intel 80386 and other processors. The first version of Xenix/386 will be available from the Santa Cruz Operation and Microsoft in March. This version will have hooks into VP/ix which supports multiple MS-DOS tasks under Unix, and was jointly developed by Interactive Systems and Phoenix Technologies Ltd. Simultaneously the version of Unix System V.3 for the 80386 developed by Interactive, commissioned by Intel, is out on beta test sites and is currently being certified by AT&T for compatibility with its version. A major coup for Xenix will come at the end of the year when Xenix/386 and Unix V.3 on the 386 become one product. Interactive announced at Uniforum yesterday that it would recommend its V.3 customers to migrate to Xenix/386. At this stage it is expected that Xenix/386 will be compatible with Unix V.3 applications and Xenix/286 applications. Despite this apparent unity amongst the three companies developing Xenix/386, Compaq announced that it would no longer distribute Microsoft Xenix on its 286 product line. Compaq will be recommending the Santa Cruz version of Xenix to its customers. The main difference between the two versions is in device driver handling. Compaq say that it will have Xenix/386 during the first half of this year. The early competition to Interactive’s MS-DOS under-Unix product, VP/ix, comes from Locus Computing Corp, Santa Monica in the form of Merge 386. Merge 386 will be stealing a march on VP/ix and Xenix/386 by appearing a month earlier. Locus says that it will be delivering development toolkits to OEM customers in February at a recommended retail price of under $400. Interactive Systems and Phoenix Technologies boast 14 OEM customers for VP/ix but only Santa Cruz has actually announced the product. Merge/386 has four OEMs: Intel, Convergent Technologies, Televideo and Microport Systems. A run-time version of VP/ix from Santa Cruz will cost $495 for a one to two user system and $995 for three users or more.

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