Alliance forms to tackle Microsoft

Alliance forms to tackle Microsoft

Post by bradley grigo » Sat, 20 Mar 1993 05:36:26

In today's Globe & Mail (Toronto, March 18, 1993), there was a
brief Reuters article "announcing" the formation of an alliance
of six major companies, including IBM, HP and Sun, to develop a
new UNIX (based on existing UNIX implementations) to counter the
threat allegedly posed by Microsoft's Windows NT in the
workstation marketplace.  The article suggests a strong overlap
or even conflict with other IBM-alliance and OSF-related "open"
and vendor-independent initiatives.  Can anyone enlighten me on
what this is really all about?  Thanks.

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Alliance forms to tackle Microsoft

Post by David Joyn » Sat, 20 Mar 1993 12:15:26

"bradley grigor" ( wrote:

: Can anyone enlighten me on what this is really all about?  Thanks.

Maybe this will help:


>    Six Companies Agree On Software Technologies And Common Desktop
>                  Reinforce Commitment To Open Systems

>    SAN FRANCISCO, UNIFORUM, March 17, 1993 -- Worldwide UNIX
> system leaders Hewlett-Packard Company, IBM Corp., The Santa Cruz
> Operation, Inc., Sun Microsystems, Inc., Univel and UNIX System
> Laboratories, Inc.  today announced their intent to deliver a common
> open software environment across their UNIX system platforms. This
> announcement is in response to increased customer demand for consistent
> technologies across multiple platforms, greater technology choice,
> increased cost savings and quicker time to market.

>    HP, IBM, SCO, SunSoft, the software subsidiary of Sun
> Microsystems, Inc., Univel and USL have defined a specification for a
> common desktop environment that gives end users a consistent look and
> feel. They have defined a consistent set of application programming
> interfaces (APIs) for the desktop that will run across all of their
> systems, opening up a larger opportunity for software developers. The
> six companies have each decided to adopt common networking products,
> allowing for increased interoperability across heterogeneous
> computers.  In addition, they have endorsed specifications, standards
> and technologies in the areas of graphics, multimedia and object
> technology, and have announced a working group in the area of systems
> administration. All of the new specifications, technologies and
> products will be designed to preserve compatibility with the companies'
> existing software application environments.

>    Today's announcement is a strong endorsement for the premise of
> open systems. Under open systems, unencumbered specifications are
> freely available, independent branding and certification processes
> exist, multiple implementations of a single product may be created and
> competition is enhanced. To this extent, the Open Software Foundation
> (OSF) has agreed to submit the Motif specification and associated
> support materials to X/Open for incorporation into a future release of
> X/Open's portability guide, including licensing of the trademark and
> the branding process. In addition, Novell/Univel have agreed to submit
> the specification for the NetWare UNIX client to X/Open.

> Common Desktop Environment

>    The six companies have defined a specification for a common desktop
> environment that will provide end users with a consistent computing
> experience and software developers with a consistent set of programming
> interfaces for the HP, IBM, SCO, SunSoft, Univel and USL platforms.
> This advanced environment will enable users to transparently access
> data and applications from anywhere in the netork.

>    The companies plan to publish a preliminary specification for the
> environment by the end of June, 1993 and will periodically release
> updates to the industry. They have agreed to submit the specification
> to X/Open for incorporation into the X/Open portability guide. HP, IBM,
> Sun and USL will make available an implementation for the common
> desktop, based on X/Open specifications, in the first half of 1994 that
> will be openly licensable to the industry. SCO and Univel will strongly
> participate on the evolution of this common desktop environment. The
> six companies will host a Developers Conference in early October to
> give users and software developers details on products and direction.

>    The common desktop environment will incorporate aspects of HP's
> Visual User Environment (VUE), IBM's Common User Access model and
> Workplace Shell, OSF's Motif toolkit and Window Manager, SunSoft's OPEN
> LOOK and DeskSet productivity tools and USL's UNIX SVR4.2 desktop
> manager components and scalable systems technologies. Specific
> technologies to be used by the six companies include the X Window
> System, Version 11, the Motif toolkit and interface and SunSoft's
> ToolTalk interapplication communication product with an incorporated HP
> Encapsulator. As most of this environment exists today, the companies
> will integrate key technologies available in the open marketplace and
> innovate where appropriate to give users and software developers a
> consistent UNIX desktop environment. The common desktop environment was
> demonstrated here today running across five hardware and software
> platforms.

>    The companies' goal is to preserve compatibility of existing
> applications written to HP-UX, IBM AIX/6000, SCO Open Desktop, SunSoft
> Solaris, Univel UnixWare and USL UNIX SVR4.2 as they are evolved from
> their current desktops to the common desktop environment.

> Networking

>    In furthering support for heterogeneous computing, HP, IBM, SCO,
> SunSoft, Univel and USL will sell, deliver and support OSF's DCE,
> SunSoft's ONC+ and Novell/Univel's NetWare UNIX client networking
> products. The companies will offer customers greater choice while
> providing them with a consistent level of support and integration.
> Users will gain increased interoperability across multiple platforms
> while continuing to protect their current investments.

>    Individual companies will announce pricing and availability for
> each of their products at a later date.

> Graphics

>    To enable consistent implementation of high-performance
> graphics software and promote wider availability of applications in the
> marketplace, the companies plan to support a core set of graphics
> facilities from the X Consortium. These are Xlib/X for basic 2D pixel
> graphics; Pexlib/PEX for 2D/3D geometry graphics; and XIElib/XIE for
> advanced imaging.

> Multimedia

>    The six companies will submit a joint specification for the
> Interactive Multimedia Association's (IMA) request for technology. This
> will provide users with consistent access to multimedia tools in
> heterogeneous environments and enable developers to create
> next-generation applications using media as data.

> Object Technology

>    HP, IBM, SCO, SunSoft, Univel and USL are working together to
> accelerate the development and delivery of object-based technology.
> They are supporting the efforts of the Object Management Group (OMG)
> that has developed the Common Object Request Broker (CORBA) standard
> for distributed object management solutions. The companies will comply
> with the CORBA specification in their future product implementations.

>    In addition, the companies will work with the OMG to establish
> common guidelines to simplify developer transition, specify core
> capabilities for object construction and development, and further the
> adoption of common testing and certification.

> Systems Management

>    As more customers move to distributed heterogeneous computing
> environments, enterprise system management becomes a critical
> requirement.  To this extent, the six companies will form a working
> group to facilitate the rationalization and rapid acceptance of
> industry specifications in the systems management arena. The companies
> will initially focus on the areas of user and group management;
> software installation and distribution management; software licensing
> management; storage management; print spooling and distributed file
> system management.

>                            ###

> 1993 IBM is a registered trademark of International Business Machines
> Corp.  and AIX/6000 is a trademark of International Business Machines
> Corp. NetWare is a registered trademark of Novell, Inc. OSF, Motif and
> Open Software Foundation are trademarks of the Open Software Foundation
> in the U.S. Univel and UnixWare are trademarks of Univel. SCO and SCO
> Open Desktop are registered trademarks of The Santa Cruz Operation,
> Inc. in the U.S. and other countries. Sun Microsystems, Inc. SunSoft,
> Solaris, ONC+ and ToolTalk are trademarks or registered trademarks of
> Sun Microsystems, Inc. UNIX and OPEN LOOK are registered trademarks of
> UNIX System Laboratories in the U.S.  and other countries. X/Open is a
> trademark of X/Open Company Ltd. in the United Kingdom and other
> countries. All other products or service names mentioned herein are
> trademarks of their respective owners.


> Hewlett-Packard Company
> Lynn Wehner
> 508-436-5017

> IBM, Corp.
> Kathleen Ryan
> 914-642-4634

> The Santa Cruz Operation, Inc.
> Zee Zaballos
> 408-427-7156

> SunSoft, Inc.
> Shernaz Daver
> 415-336-0678

> Univel
> Melanie King
> 408-729-2342

> UNIX System Laboratories, Inc.
> Larry Lytle
> 908-522-5186

David Joyner (
Unix Systems Programmer                            | Phone: (919) 515-2794  |
NCSU Administrative Computing Services             | FAX:   (919) 515-3787  |