The October 11, 1993 InfoWorld states that Novell has given the
rights to the name "UNIX" to X/Open. On page 99, they go on to
say that any vendor who conforms to the X/Open 1170 specification
may call their product UNIX.
A comment, and a couple of questions:
Is this the end of the *ix brand names? We may miss gems like AIX,
the only UNIX variant with an appropriate pronunciation... What a shame
that would be.
What is the 1170 standard from X/Open?
And who currently conforms to it? Could we see DEC UNIX, IBM UNIX, etc?
Thanks, if you email me I will summarize, and all that.
[ Or feel free to discuss it here... I think it is more than a little
relevant... -- mod ]
Volume-Number: Volume 32, Number 83
fenn...@jeeves.eng.sematech.org (Quentin Fennessy,3rd flr x3841)
>The October 11, 1993 InfoWorld states that Novell has given the
>rights to the name "UNIX" to X/Open. On page 99, they go on to
>say that any vendor who conforms to the X/Open 1170 specification
>may call their product UNIX.
Here's the X/Open press release. It tells us that there will
be a full set of test suites available for all of UNIX by
the end of 1994.
The following press release was sent out over the business wire on Monday
October 11, 1993.
X/OPEN CO., LTD.
1010 El Camino Real
Menlo Park, CA 94025
Director, Marketing Communications
REGIS McKENNA INC.
1755 Embarcadero Road
Palo Alto, CA 94303
Elizabeth Chaney or Craig Broadbent
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
X/Open Receives UNIX Trademark From Novell
Furthers Freedom of Choice for Customers
Solidifies Industry Commitment to Unified UNIX Specification
TRENTON, New Jersey -- October 11, 1993 -- X/Open Company Ltd.
today announced an agreement with Novell, Inc. (NASDAQ: NOVL)
under which the UNIX trademark will be transferred to X/Open, the
leading international open systems standards organization.
This agreement is solid evidence of the industry-wide commitment to
deliver a single compatible UNIX specification to customers. It will
increase users' choice of open systems suppliers that conform to
pragmatic industry standards and enable software developers to market
and maintain single UNIX product versions.
This agreement reinforces and extends the announcement made on
September 1, in which 75 computer manufacturers and software developers
agreed to adopt a common application programming interface
specification, known as Spec 1170. This specification is based upon
the UNIX operating system and added features, and will assure
application portability across multiple systems architectures.
The registered trademark, UNIX, represents one of the assets
transferred to Novell through its acquisition of UNIX System
Laboratories (USL) on June 14, 1993, and was formerly the property of
AT&T Bell Laboratories, where the UNIX operating system was developed
in 1969. Also announced today, Novell, Inc. will join X/Open as a full
shareholder and member of the X/Open board of directors.
Speaking at the announcement, X/Open president and CEO Geoff Morris
said, "The market now has a single specification that ensures
compatibility of all UNIX systems, governed by the quality and value
represented by the X/Open brand. This agreement unifies the open
systems industry around one UNIX specification and will eliminate the
basic incompatibilities that previously existed between various UNIX
implementations. The X/Open brand will provide users with a single
specification that assures compatibility across all compliant systems
throughout their organization."
In the future, all systems bearing the name UNIX will be tested and
branded by X/Open, thus providing assurance of conformance and quality
to the buyer. The UNIX trademark will be integrated into X/Open's
wider open systems specifications which also address areas of system
management, network management, and the desktop environment. The
assurances guaranteed through the X/Open branding practices will allow
UNIX to be better managed, better controlled and better protected than
By late 1994, X/Open will develop and implement this extension to the
branding program which will include full test suites for conformance.
UNIX system vendors have agreed to comply with this program in order to
use the UNIX trademark. Software developers who create applications
based upon Spec 1170 can have a high degree of confidence that their
applications will run unaltered on systems from different vendors using
the same microprocessor architectures. In addition, they will be able
to run across multiple architectures with a simple recompile. In the
past, applications frequently had to be rewritten to run on different
"Novell acquired the UNIX operating system to help make it universal,"
said Ray Noorda, president and CEO of Novell, Inc. "We are
transferring the UNIX trademark to X/Open because we believe an open
systems standard cannot be owned by a single vendor. We also believe
that a single specification with many implementations is essential to
providing customers the variety of choices they want in building a
networked computing environment that fits their specific needs. We are
confident in the stewardship of X/Open as the new home for the UNIX
trademark, and we are confident that the industry can work
cooperatively to provide a strong open system alternative for the
X/Open will make the UNIX trademark available immediately to vendors'
products which are currently in conformance with XPG (XPG3 BASE or XPG4
BASE) and SVID (version 2 or 3), and are derived from USL operating
system technology. Vendors meeting these criteria, committing to
compliance with Spec 1170, and entering into a trademark agreement with
X/Open, will be permitted to call their products UNIX. These suppliers
will also be required to demonstrate compliance to Spec 1170 once test
suites are available.
X/Open will manage and protect the use of the UNIX trademark in the
interest of the industry. Users of the UNIX trademark will pay license
fees to X/Open based upon volume of UNIX system products shipped.
X/Open, founded in 1984, is a worldwide, independent, open systems
organization dedicated to providing a unified path to open systems
specification and implementation.
This unification is achieved through the close cooperation and
integration of input from users, vendors, and standards organizations
worldwide. The X/Open specification, which covers both
interoperability and applications portability elements, is based on de
facto and international standards. X/Open operates a test and
verification process for products developed in line with its
specification, and awards its brand as the mark of compliance.
# # #
X/Open and the "X" device are registered trademarks of X/Open Company Ltd. in
the United Kingdom and other countries.
UNIX is a registered trademark, licensed exclusively by X/Open Company Ltd.
Q1. How much will UNIX trademark licensees pay for use of the brand?
A1. X/Open will charge fees based on the volume of UNIX system
These fees are currently under consideration.
Q2. Has X/Open made any payment to Novell under this agreement?
A2. X/Open has made no payment. However, Novell is compensated by
a 3-year Shareholder membership of X/Open and a 3-year
royalty-free UNIX license.
Q3. Does this agreement mean that X/Open is breaking with tradition and
effectively paying for technology?
A3. No. The specification for the UNIX operating system is defined
by the Common APIs to UNIX-based operating systems
specification, commonly referred to comprehensively supported
in the industry and will be widely available in the market.
Today's announcement concerns use of the trademarked brand
Note: Spec 1170 represents the number of interfaces included in the complete
operating system specification, comprising the existing XPG4 Base and the
additional interfaces included in the "Common API" specification. "Spec 1770"
refers to the combination of the Common API specification and XPG4 Base.
Q4. Will Novell continue to control UNIX?
A4. No. From today, the APIs which define UNIX will be controlled
by X/Open and managed through the company's proven open
industry consensus processes.
Novell will continue to own one product (a single implementation of UNIX)
which currently conforms to the specification. Novell is clearly free to
evolve that product in any way that it chooses, but may only continue to call
it UNIX if it maintains conformance to the X/Open specifications.
Q5. Are there test suites available for UNIX, and if not, who will develop
A5. X/Open is now responsible for the development of test suites to
measure 1170 conformance. A number of these suites currently
exist within the X/Open Verification Suite family.
Q6. How will the future evolution of UNIX be managed?
A6. The future specification of the UNIX operating system will be
managed under X/Open's proven procedures. This agreement
allows for continued innovation through multiple compatible
implementations of a single UNIX specification.
Q7. How does this agreement affect X/Open's current branding scheme?
A7. UNIX is now a single, branded set of operating system API
specifications. This is complementary with other brand
offerings from X/Open which address different market needs.
This specification is entirely complementary with X/Open's
Q8. Will the terms of the current UNIX license change?
A8. There will be no immediate changes in usage for current licensees.
Companies using the name UNIX without a current license are
advised to contact X/Open as soon as possible.
Q9. Is X/Open becoming purely a UNIX organization?
A9. No. X/Open specifications extend beyond the confines of the
operating system to include security, data communications, data
management and user interface. In addition to UNIX, other
operating system technologies carry the X/Open brand.
Q10. Why does X/Open want to the keeper of the UNIX trademark?
A10. The addition of the specifications within Spec 1170, now
governed by the UNIX trademark, is directly in line with
X/Open's mission to deliver the benefits of open systems to the
market because it further eliminates incompatibilities.
By using the recognized UNIX trademark and applying it to the
widely supported Spec 1170, continued fragmentation may be
reduced and with it confusion among users by assuring multiple,
compatible implementations based on a single, accepted
Q11. How will X/Open accommodate this new responsibility? What effect will
it have on resources and priorities?
A11. X/Open is committed to the effective management of the UNIX
trademark and will employ appropriate resources to do so.
Current work programs within X/Open will not be affected. It
is expected that the incremental revenues derived from
management of the UNIX trademark will cover X/Open's additional
Q12. Will customers now purchase the UNIX source code from X/Open?
A12. No, X/Open will now control the UNIX trademark only. Source
code must be obtained from a vendor company. Those people who
wish to use the Novell/USL source code in their implementation,
will need to contact Novell/USL.
Volume-Number: Volume 32, Number 84
In article <29f83r...@rodan.UU.NET>, fenn...@jeeves.eng.sematech.org (Quentin Fennessy,3rd flr x3841) writes:
>Is this the end of the *ix brand names? We may miss gems like AIX,
>the only UNIX variant with an appropriate pronunciation... What a shame
>that would be.
Companies may or may not end up using the UNIX brand as part of their product
name. X/Open has not yet published the royalty schedule (You did not think
it was free), however, I expect many companies will go along. Unlike AT&T,
Novell would like vendors to call their UNIX-like products UNIX.
>What is the 1170 standard from X/Open?
This is a set of 1170 APIs that were agreed to on September 1st. They
represent the merge of the AT&T SVID and OSF AES as well as other popular
library functions. The list includes kernel calls, the C library and things
like CURSES. In fact, CURSES (and the I18N wide CURSES) make up a large part
of the spec.
>And who currently conforms to it?
One can start using the Unix trademark if you agree to conform to Spec 1170
in the future.
> Could we see DEC UNIX, IBM UNIX, etc?
Yes. And I expect we will.
Donald A. Lewine (508) 898-6488 Voice **NEW NUMBER**
Data General Corporation (508) 366-0750 FAX
4400 Computer Drive. MS D112A
Westboro, MA 01580 U.S.A.
uucp: uunet!dg!lewine Internet: dle...@cheshirecat.webo.dg.com
All opinions in this message are logical, well reasoned and my own.
Volume-Number: Volume 32, Number 85
Is this going to finally be a chance to get some standards online
where they can do some good? (Especially since X/Open is going to
get revenue from those vendors that want to use the UNIX trademark)
Software Innovations, Inc.
(the Software Moving Company; we've been moving software to UNIX for 12 years)
Volume-Number: Volume 32, Number 86
Does anyone apart from me think we should call the thing Unix rather
than UNIX? It's taken 40 years to convert FORTRAN into Fortran...
Volume-Number: Volume 32, Number 87
Um, maybe. I remain unconvinced that the major vendors are prepared to be
bound by X/Open - use it as guidelines, yes, but regard it as the Word from
Above, maybe not. Remember that this will cost them real money to convert
their APIs (i.e. not just the peanuts that buy the right to call their
The vendors have broken ISO and ANSI in the past, there are strong signs
that they are going to do it to the more complex parts of POSIX, and I
don't see why X/Open should be any different. All they have to do is
ignore it, and what the small fry do is irrelevant (in this context, Novell
is just another minnow).
Note that I am NOT saying that it will NOT happen - I am just saying that it
is still very uncertain. If anyone has any good, new information on which
way the winds of the commercial politics are blowing, I should be very
interested to hear it.
Volume-Number: Volume 32, Number 88
>What is the 1170 standard from X/Open?
>And who currently conforms to it? Could we see DEC UNIX, IBM UNIX, etc?
This status report should clarify some of the questions.
At 4:30 BST October 11, X/Open and Novell formally announced the
transfer of the UNIX trademark to X/Open.
In return for the transfer of the trademark, Novell will be able to
use the UNIX trademark free of royalty for three years and may also,
subject to normal board approval, become an X/Open shareholder, with
fees waived for three years.
Currently UNIX as a trademark is a TECHNOLOGY trademark.
As soon as Spec 1170 (the combination of the recently announced common
API spec and XPG4 BASE) is finalised, UNIX will become a CONFORMANCE
trademark, applicable to any system which conforms to this approved
In the interim, X/Open will award the UNIX brand to systems which
conform to the all of following criteria:
1) XPG3 or XPG4 conformant (ie branded)
2) SVID2 or SVID3 conformant
3) Derived from AT&T, USL, or Novell code
4) Vendor makes commitment to conform to spec 1170 within 12 months of
Criteria 3 applies to any derivation from AT&T code, not just the
latest version of System V, so covers virtually all existing systems
including AIX, OSF/1, HPUX, ULTRIX, XENIX ...
Vendors who supply products that are awarded the brand will be
entitled to make defined use of the UNIX trademark in connection with
their marketing of these products. The vendor may or may not choose to
retain their existing brand names.
Martin Kirk X/Open Company Limited
Development Manager, Apex Plaza, Forbury Road
Distributed Systems Management Reading, RG1 1AX, England
and Base Program Tel: +44 734 508311 ext 2258
E-mail: m.k...@xopen.co.uk Fax: +44 734 500110
Volume-Number: Volume 32, Number 89
In article <29k4ti...@rodan.uu.net>, Martin Kirk <mar...@xopen.co.uk> wrote:
>In the interim, X/Open will award the UNIX brand to systems which
>conform to the all of following criteria:
>1) XPG3 or XPG4 conformant (ie branded)
>2) SVID2 or SVID3 conformant
>3) Derived from AT&T, USL, or Novell code
>4) Vendor makes commitment to conform to spec 1170 within 12 months of
>Criteria 3 applies to any derivation from AT&T code, not just the
>latest version of System V, so covers virtually all existing systems
>including AIX, OSF/1, HPUX, ULTRIX, XENIX ...
Isn't criteria 3 rather hypocritical for a company with "open" in it's
Afterall, if it conforms, why would 3 possibly matter?
I note that Posix didn't have this requirement and XGP branding never
seemed to think it was relevant.
As long as you require point 3, you'll never be able to convince people
you not just fronting for Novell.
For that matter, what does "derived" mean? Do you really mean to say
"someone paying royalties to Novell" but are afraid if you said that
the relationship would be rather transparent?
I'm eaglerly waiting to hear the rationalization....
Volume-Number: Volume 32, Number 90
In article <29kns3...@rodan.uu.net> ri...@rodan.UU.NET (Rick Adams) writes:
>In article <29k4ti...@rodan.uu.net>, Martin Kirk <mar...@xopen.co.uk> wrote:
>>In the interim, X/Open will award the UNIX brand to systems which
>>conform to the all of following criteria:
Note the words, "In the interim."
What rick did not bother to quote was:
>>As soon as Spec 1170 (the combination of the recently announced common
>>API spec and XPG4 BASE) is finalised, UNIX will become a CONFORMANCE
>>trademark, applicable to any system which conforms to this approved
Then put in the part beginning with, "In the interim" here:
>>1) XPG3 or XPG4 conformant (ie branded)
>>2) SVID2 or SVID3 conformant
>>3) Derived from AT&T, USL, or Novell code
>>4) Vendor makes commitment to conform to spec 1170 within 12 months of
>Isn't criteria 3 rather hypocritical for a company with "open" in it's
No, rick. It appears to me that it is set up so that more systems can call
themselves "unix." Note that BSD could be made XPG3 or XPG4 compliant
(which should also cover SVID2 and/or SVID3, if I remember correctly);
this would let MtXinu call their systems UNIX, for example. It would
also let XENIX, VENIX, etc., become UNIX, instead of yet-another-*nix name.
Since there are relatively few systems out there which attempt to be
UNIX but do not have USL/AT&T code in them, this is a reasonable, general-
>As long as you require point 3, you'll never be able to convince people
>you not just fronting for Novell.
Again, did you miss the "in the interim" part?
Now, I imagine that if you can make your OS (BSD/386, for those who don't
know) XPG? and SVID? conformant, I suspect they would be quite happy to
let you call it UNIX, provided you also promise to make it 1170 conformant
within 12 months of 1170 being finalized. Of course, all the other
systems out there (freebsd, netbsd, 386bsd, lynxos, etc.) could do the
>For that matter, what does "derived" mean? Do you really mean to say
>"someone paying royalties to Novell" but are afraid if you said that
>the relationship would be rather transparent?
Was this really necessary? Have you been taking lessons from Bill Jolitz?
[ Please keep the flamage as low as possible. This includes
myself -- mod ]
Volume-Number: Volume 32, Number 91
What is now the form of words to be used when referring to UNIX in an article:
UNIX is a registered trademark of X/Open
or something not so obvious?
--- internet m...@dcs.warwick.ac.uk --- telephone +44 203 523368
--- uucp ...!mcsun!uknet!warwick!msj --- fax +44 203 525714
Volume-Number: Volume 32, Number 92
In article <29k4pj...@rodan.UU.NET>, nm...@cus.cam.ac.uk (Nick Maclaren) writes:
>Um, maybe. I remain unconvinced that the major vendors are prepared to be
>bound by X/Open - use it as guidelines, yes, but regard it as the Word from
>Above, maybe not. Remember that this will cost them real money to convert
>their APIs (i.e. not just the peanuts that buy the right to call their
(1) DEC, IBM, H-P, SUN and many other vendors have already agreed to
change their API to conform to Spec 1170.
(2) DEC, IBM, H-P, . . . are all shareholders in X/Open. One may have a
different view of "The Word from Above", if you get to sit above and
issue the word.
(3) These vendors would like their customers to feel secure in the future
of of Unix. The agreement to merge the Unix API's into a single standard
was made by the very vendors we are talking about. They are putting real
money into the effort.
>The vendors have broken ISO and ANSI in the past, there are strong signs
>that they are going to do it to the more complex parts of POSIX, and I
>don't see why X/Open should be any different. All they have to do is
>ignore it, and what the small fry do is irrelevant (in this context, Novell
>is just another minnow).
Vaid point, sort of. As the regular readers of this newsgroup and
comp.std.c know, POSIX, ISO, and ANSI are not perfect and unambiguous.
Sometimes vendors get things wrong either due to a problem in the standard
or in the code. Sometimes many people depend on the bug in the
I believe that the major (and less major) vendors make a great effort
to conform to standards. They do not "just ignore it." On the other
hand, they do not always get it right and they have some obligation to
provide compatibility with their previous implementations.
>Note that I am NOT saying that it will NOT happen - I am just saying that it
>is still very uncertain. If anyone has any good, new information on which
>way the winds of the commercial politics are blowing, I should be very
>interested to hear it.
Since you asked: IBM, SUN and H-P are all very concerned about Microsoft.
Bill Gates has excellent access to the board rooms of the Fortune 1000.
(If Bill Gates called I bet Clinton would return the call.)
The Microsoft message is simple, "Microsoft is the only operating system
vendor you will ever need. Our products are cheap, reliable and not bloated
to force you to buy more hardware. DOS, Windows 3.1, Chicago, Windows NT
and Cairo grow to meet all of your system software needs. Trust Microsoft."
The Microsoft message is working. Major corporations have many mission
critical applications running on DOS and Windows.
Hardware vendors view loss of control of their system software with various
levels of alarm. But, when all of things are considered, X/Open looks like
a much better source of software standards than Microsoft.
Customers know they will replace all of their hardware in 2 to 5 years, but
applications software lasts forever. They want to know that they can buy
cost effective hardware from multiple vendors and continue to run their
existing applications. Microsoft is claiming they will meet that need and
now X/Open is making similar claims.
You are correct, it is all still very uncertain, but the winds of commercial
politics are at gale force.
Donald A. Lewine
Data General Corporation
Volume-Number: Volume 32, Number 93
kar...@mindcraft.com (Chuck Karish) writes:
> Q12. Will customers now purchase the UNIX source code from X/Open?
> A12. No, X/Open will now control the UNIX trademark only. Source
> code must be obtained from a vendor company. Those people who
> wish to use the Novell/USL source code in their implementation,
> will need to contact Novell/USL.
Does it mean that if I am using AT&T/USL/Novell code in my *ix product, besides
paying royalities to Novell/USL, I will have to start paying royalities to
X/Open as well? Or is it true that I will have to pay royalities to X/Open only
if I want to call my product UNIX?
If it is the second case, why shall anybody start calling their *ix product
UNIX? All one might do is to pay fees to X/Open to get the branding (I mean get
a certificate of compliance with Spec 1170). Can anyone clarify this?
> UNIX is a registered trademark, licensed exclusively by X/Open Company Ltd.
Shall the above line appear in any article/manual referring to UNIX published
after October 11th '93?
Volume-Number: Volume 32, Number 94
In Article <29kqpi...@rodan.UU.NET>
s...@kithrup.com (Sean Eric Fagan) writes:
>No, rick. It appears to me that it is set up so that more systems can call
OK, I can understand the point of this as an interim requirement, but can
we be sure that Spec 1170 iteself is free of such vendor bias? Plenty of
O/S's with no shared ancestory with Unix have been made Posix and XPG
conformant. Can we expect the same thing with Spec 1170?
Also, what does 1170 provide, over and above POSIX and XPG?
Volume-Number: Volume 32, Number 96