Sun Microsystems pronounced Unix dead this week, claiming that it should now simply be called Solaris as this was the only long term choice left on the market.
Scott McNealy and other chief executives, talking at a pan-European conference for analysts in Brussels, claimed that no other company had a viable Unix strategy.
"We don't use the word Unix any more, we just say Solaris. Hewlett Packard has abandoned its Unix development, so has DEC, so has IBM. There is only Solaris," said Ed Zander, chief operating officer - despite the fact that HP had signed up two licensees for its HP/UX the same day.
HP and Digital Equipment both rubbished Sun's claims on Unix.
"Hewlett Packard has $10 billion annual revenue from Unix alone. Sun is still suffering from the lack of a 64-bit operating system, which HP/UX has been for some time. We have a Unix customer base Sun can only dream of," replied EJ Bodnar, competitive programme manager at HP.
Chief executive and chairman of Digital Robert Palmer said in April that Digital was spending at least $100 million a year on development of its Unix, which would run on both Alpha and Intel processors, as well as deals with Sequent and Tandem to license a future version of Digital Unix.
Sun said its claims were substantiated by deals with NCR, Fujitsu and Siemens-Nixdorf, all of which will take Solaris as their 64-bit Unix offering on Intel's IA-64 architecture.
However, analysts questioned whether there was likely to be much take-up of Solaris on the Intel 64-bit Merced platform, and whether ISVs would be keen to port applications to it.
Zander said Unix was already dead at the desktop for Sun's competitors, leaving Sun to clear up in the workstation market and become the only viable alternative to Windows NT.
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