Compaq confirmed today it is backing the joint IBM-SCO Unix on Intel initiative - known as Monterey - giving a major boost to SCO but raising serious questions about Compaq's strategy in the Unix market.
As PC Week UK reported exclusively, on VNU Newswire last Thursday, Compaq has endorsed the Monterrey project, originally announced last October (see Newswire 26 October, 1998) as an alliance between IBM, SCO and Sequent to develop a combined Unix operating system for the Intel IA64 platform.
Compaq said in a statement it would work with IBM and SCO on distribution, Unix technology and partners, for Monterey. It said it will offer the operating system that results from Monterey on its Proliant server IA64 products and provide assistance to ISVs to port applications to the operating system, running on its platform.
"Compaq is extending our commitment to SCO customers by endorsing the Monterey initiative," said Tim Yeaton, general manager of the Unix software division at Compaq.
However, the move is likely to raise serious questions about where the focus of Compaq's Unix strategy lies. It has a billion dollar plus market for Unixware at the moment. It also sells Digital Unix, which is a much more powerful, scalable operating system then Unixware, aimed at large corporates rather than small and medium sized companies.
Monterey will increase the scalability of Unixware however, bringing into a more competitive position with Digital Unix. To confuse the picture further, Compaq has also recently given its backing to the Linux operating system.
Both IBM and SCO welcomed Compaq's support.
"We are absolutely delighted to have Compaq's support for Monterey," said Doug Michels, president and chief executive of SCO. "As a long term strategic partner of SCO's and a leading supplier of industry standard servers, Compaq brings a whole new level of momentum to Project Monterey."
IBM said in the statement it would provide IBM middleware on Compaq Unix platforms.
Rajiv Samant, general manager for Unix at IBM said: "IBM's strength in the enterprise and Compaq's market presence, distribution channels and Unix capabilities will lead Monterey to success. Compaq Proliant servers will be important platforms for Monterey on IA64, and with Compaq's participation, Monterey will become the leading volume shrink wrap, enterprise capable Unix operating system for the IA64 platform."
No details have yet been given on Compaq's financial investment in Monterey or which technologies it would be contributing to the project. VNU Newswire will have a full story and analysis on the Compaq announcement later this afternoon.
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