Unisys has admitted that it intends to encourage existing Unix users to migrate to Windows NT and will no longer actively promote the Santa Cruz Operation's (SCO) Unixware environment.
The supplier said its Unix business is so small that it has not even decided whether to port Unixware to its new cellular multiprocessing (CMP) architecture. These CMP servers, which are due to ship by the end of next year, will be based on a mixture of Intel and CMOS processors, and be able to run NT and mainframe operating systems simultaneously.
Lawrence Weinbach, Unisys' chief executive, said in a statement reminiscent of Digital Equipment's Bob Palmer five years ago: "There are too many Unix versions out there. We are going to spend our money on NT. We are not trying to build up a new Unix environment - we will support customers, but it is not strategic."
He continued that the firm's past public support for Unixware, including its endorsement of the SCO-IBM announcement last week to develop an integrated 64 bit Unix, was considered tactical only, while it waited for the moment when NT could manage enterprise workloads.
"We are not interested in the Unix market ourselves. We have an obligation to our current customers, so we will still support Unixware and we are working with Sun for our OEM business," said Marty Krempasky, Unisys' vice president of corporate communications.
Some 80 per cent of the company's hybrid CMOS and Intel Clearpath servers are now running under Windows NT, side by side with a mainframe operating system. Most of the others run Unisys? own SVR4 Unix operating system.
But in the long run, Unisys wants these several hundred SVR4 users to migrate to Windows NT, although it promises to retain Unixware as an option. However, the company says it will continue to offer Unixware on its Intel-based servers throughout next year and is also in preliminary discussions with another hardware supplier to OEM Unixware-based servers to it.
Elsewhere, the company told the VNU Newswire that it was porting Sun's Solaris Unix variant to Clearpath to sell as an OEM platform to two possible interested parties in Europe (see VNU Newswire, 24 October).
Unisys is the latest in a series of SCO?s partners to lose enthusiasm for Unixware and analysts are now saying the operating system is the most likely of the small business OSs to be threatened by Windows NT.
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