Confusion surrounds IBM's Unix strategy, following its endorsement of SCO Unixware as the standard Unix system for its PC servers. IBM said today it still had its own plans to develop a version of AIX for 64-bit microprocessors and added that it will not ditch its own version of Unix even on Intel platforms.
That comes in the wake of an announcement from SCO that IBM has now become a fully fledged member of the Gemini team, developing the next generation of Unixware, and will join NCR, Unisys, Intel and others in offering this as an alternative to Windows NT this autumn.
Paul Oliver, director of strategic programmes at SCO UK, said: ?We?ve already seen resellers offering Unixware on IBM kit. This move is an endorsement of what SCO is doing moving forward to [32-bit] Gemini.?
He said the official announcement of IBM's backing, expected tomorrow, was a great boost for the Unixware initiative. ?IBM understands Unixware is very strong. It?s significant for a number of reasons. IBM along with other enterprise players think it?s important to provide a counter to NT.?
End users, he claimed, found they got ?much better performance from all the well known databases? on Unixware. Clustering, too, performed better than with Windows NT, he claimed. The company is expected to strike a deal with Compaq-Tandem soon.
?End users look at this from the application perspective. All the database vendors are supporting Gemini as well as DB2 from IBM,? said Oliver. Applications companies like Baan had joined in the initiative too.
But Ian Roscoe, head of programmes at the IBM RS/6000 group, said that the fact Big Blue was going to support Gemini did not mean it would abandon its own plans to develop a version of AIX for 64-bit processors, when they come.
He said: ?I don?t believe IBM is ditching AIX. This announcement won?t affect AIX. There has been an offering on Intel boxes for some time. This will provide customers with choice. IBM is still developing its own platform for 64-bit microprocessors.?
Roscoe was unable to clarify what effect the move will have on IBM?s message to resellers and end users. He said that the deal properly belonged in the IBM PC Company?s court - but no-one at that unit had heard of the announcement today.
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