Intel is to plough millions of dollars into an expanded agreement with SCO to make the latter's Unixware operating system a leader in the data centre.
Together with Compaq, Data General, ICL and Unisys, the partners will invest in engineering, marketing and education programmes to expand Unixware to become the Unix OS of choice for the upcoming Intel Merced processor, which is targeted at the data centre.
The deal follows the pact between Intel and Sun last winter, which agreed to port Sun's Solaris Unix to Merced. It fuelled speculation that Intel does not believe that Microsoft NT will be ready for enterprise systems as quickly as Merced will, and so it turning to the leading Unix variants to plug the gap. Merced is expected to start sampling this summer.
The involvement of Compaq in the agreement also aroused speculation that the PC maker will focus on Unixware - for which its products are the largest platform - at the expense of the Unix OS it acquired with Digital Equipment.
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