HP has played down industry speculation that it is backing off co-development efforts with SCO in the wake of its recent alliance with Microsoft.
However, SCO officials admitted today that the companies are no longer working to provide binary compatibility between SCO?s Gemini 64-bit Unix and HP?s UX Unix systems.
?Binary compatibility was a goal we were aiming for but because of the byte ordering issue it cannot be. If HP had chosen the same byte ordering as the Intel range we could have done it,? said Steve Spill, director of enterprise business partners at SCO.
HP?s decision to back off binary compatibility with SCO, coupled with a tightening of its support for Windows NT following its joint announcement with Microsoft yesterday, led some industry watchers to speculate that HP might ditch Unix on its Intel platforms altogether.
Rana Mainee, director of consulting at research company IDC, said: ?HP, I?m sure, will think very very hard about their investment in SCO now. There is still plenty of scope and business opportunity at this level of Unix but they could take the easy route and go for NT. NT would be a minimal investment route with minimal standards."
But John Saw, UK commercial marketing manager for HP, said that HP was still fully committed to SCO Unix. ?The SCO initiative started two years ago as part of our long term commitment to collaborate on development of Unix as a high end server and high end workstation environment. We are 100 per cent committed to SCO's Gemini programme. Merced will support both Unix and NT operating system environments. We don?t have an alternative strategy.?
According to Saw, HP plans to ship HP/UX version 12 (which will be compatible with SCO?s Gemini programme) to run on the Merced chip in the late 1998-99 timeframe. ?Version 11 of HP/UX, which is due out later this year, will offer support for Merced technology but will not be compatible with SCO," he said. "However it will have some of the Gemini Lodi specification APIs.?
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