FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
UNIX LEADERS ANNOUNCE COMMON OPEN SOFTWARE ENVIRONMENT
Six Companies Agree On Software Technologies And Common Desktop
Reinforce Commitment To Open Systems
SAN FRANCISCO, UNIFORUM, March 17, 1993 -- Worldwide UNIX
system leaders Hewlett-Packard Company, IBM Corp., The Santa Cruz
Operation, Inc., Sun Microsystems, Inc., Univel and UNIX System
Laboratories, Inc. today announced their intent to deliver a common
open software environment across their UNIX system platforms. This
announcement is in response to increased customer demand for consistent
technologies across multiple platforms, greater technology choice,
increased cost savings and quicker time to market.
HP, IBM, SCO, SunSoft, the software subsidiary of Sun
Microsystems, Inc., Univel and USL have defined a specification for a
common desktop environment that gives end users a consistent look and
feel. They have defined a consistent set of application programming
interfaces (APIs) for the desktop that will run across all of their
systems, opening up a larger opportunity for software developers. The
six companies have each decided to adopt common networking products,
allowing for increased interoperability across heterogeneous
computers. In addition, they have endorsed specifications, standards
and technologies in the areas of graphics, multimedia and object
technology, and have announced a working group in the area of systems
administration. All of the new specifications, technologies and
products will be designed to preserve compatibility with the companies'
existing software application environments.
Today's announcement is a strong endorsement for the premise of
open systems. Under open systems, unencumbered specifications are
freely available, independent branding and certification processes
exist, multiple implementations of a single product may be created and
competition is enhanced. To this extent, the Open Software Foundation
(OSF) has agreed to submit the Motif specification and associated
support materials to X/Open for incorporation into a future release of
X/Open's portability guide, including licensing of the trademark and
the branding process. In addition, Novell/Univel have agreed to submit
the specification for the NetWare UNIX client to X/Open.
Common Desktop Environment
The six companies have defined a specification for a common desktop
environment that will provide end users with a consistent computing
experience and software developers with a consistent set of programming
interfaces for the HP, IBM, SCO, SunSoft, Univel and USL platforms.
This advanced environment will enable users to transparently access
data and applications from anywhere in the netork.
The companies plan to publish a preliminary specification for the
environment by the end of June, 1993 and will periodically release
updates to the industry. They have agreed to submit the specification
to X/Open for incorporation into the X/Open portability guide. HP, IBM,
Sun and USL will make available an implementation for the common
desktop, based on X/Open specifications, in the first half of 1994 that
will be openly licensable to the industry. SCO and Univel will strongly
participate on the evolution of this common desktop environment. The
six companies will host a Developers Conference in early October to
give users and software developers details on products and direction.
The common desktop environment will incorporate aspects of HP's
Visual User Environment (VUE), IBM's Common User Access model and
Workplace Shell, OSF's Motif toolkit and Window Manager, SunSoft's OPEN
LOOK and DeskSet productivity tools and USL's UNIX SVR4.2 desktop
manager components and scalable systems technologies. Specific
technologies to be used by the six companies include the X Window
System, Version 11, the Motif toolkit and interface and SunSoft's
ToolTalk interapplication communication product with an incorporated HP
Encapsulator. As most of this environment exists today, the companies
will integrate key technologies available in the open marketplace and
innovate where appropriate to give users and software developers a
consistent UNIX desktop environment. The common desktop environment was
demonstrated here today running across five hardware and software
The companies' goal is to preserve compatibility of existing
applications written to HP-UX, IBM AIX/6000, SCO Open Desktop, SunSoft
Solaris, Univel UnixWare and USL UNIX SVR4.2 as they are evolved from
their current desktops to the common desktop environment.
In furthering support for heterogeneous computing, HP, IBM, SCO,
SunSoft, Univel and USL will sell, deliver and support OSF's DCE,
SunSoft's ONC+ and Novell/Univel's NetWare UNIX client networking
products. The companies will offer customers greater choice while
providing them with a consistent level of support and integration.
Users will gain increased interoperability across multiple platforms
while continuing to protect their current investments.
Individual companies will announce pricing and availability for
each of their products at a later date.
To enable consistent implementation of high-performance
graphics software and promote wider availability of applications in the
marketplace, the companies plan to support a core set of graphics
facilities from the X Consortium. These are Xlib/X for basic 2D pixel
graphics; Pexlib/PEX for 2D/3D geometry graphics; and XIElib/XIE for
The six companies will submit a joint specification for the
Interactive Multimedia Association's (IMA) request for technology. This
will provide users with consistent access to multimedia tools in
heterogeneous environments and enable developers to create
next-generation applications using media as data.
HP, IBM, SCO, SunSoft, Univel and USL are working together to
accelerate the development and delivery of object-based technology.
They are supporting the efforts of the Object Management Group (OMG)
that has developed the Common Object Request Broker (CORBA) standard
for distributed object management solutions. The companies will comply
with the CORBA specification in their future product implementations.
In addition, the companies will work with the OMG to establish
common guidelines to simplify developer transition, specify core
capabilities for object construction and development, and further the
adoption of common testing and certification.
As more customers move to distributed heterogeneous computing
environments, enterprise system management becomes a critical
requirement. To this extent, the six companies will form a working
group to facilitate the rationalization and rapid acceptance of
industry specifications in the systems management arena. The companies
will initially focus on the areas of user and group management;
software installation and distribution management; software licensing
management; storage management; print spooling and distributed file
1993 IBM is a registered trademark of International Business Machines
Corp. and AIX/6000 is a trademark of International Business Machines
Corp. NetWare is a registered trademark of Novell, Inc. OSF, Motif and
Open Software Foundation are trademarks of the Open Software Foundation
in the U.S. Univel and UnixWare are trademarks of Univel. SCO and SCO
Open Desktop are registered trademarks of The Santa Cruz Operation,
Inc. in the U.S. and other countries. Sun Microsystems, Inc. SunSoft,
Solaris, ONC+ and ToolTalk are trademarks or registered trademarks of
Sun Microsystems, Inc. UNIX and OPEN LOOK are registered trademarks of
UNIX System Laboratories in the U.S. and other countries. X/Open is a
trademark of X/Open Company Ltd. in the United Kingdom and other
countries. All other products or service names mentioned herein are
trademarks of their respective owners.
The Santa Cruz Operation, Inc.
UNIX System Laboratories, Inc.
The only place, in this press release, other than the above that
mentions OPEN LOOK is the trademark section.
In addition, it goes on to say:
>and USL's UNIX SVR4.2 desktop
>manager components and scalable systems technologies. Specific
>technologies to be used by the six companies include the X Window
>System, Version 11, the Motif toolkit and interface
without any mention of SunSoft's *or* USL's OPEN LOOK toolkits.
Does "SunSoft's OPEN LOOK and DeskSet productivity tools", or "USL's
UNIX SVR4.2 desktop manager components", include any of SunSoft's or
USL's OPEN LOOK toolkits, or either of their OPEN LOOK window managers?
>>and USL's UNIX SVR4.2 desktop
>>manager components and scalable systems technologies. Specific
>>technologies to be used by the six companies include the X Window
>>System, Version 11, the Motif toolkit and interface
>without any mention of SunSoft's *or* USL's OPEN LOOK toolkits.
Well, I happened to get a look at a memo that was sent by Scott McNealy
[or his surrogate] to all Sun employees just before the press release
(no, don't ask how ;-), and it said this:
The environment will leverage SunSoft's ToolTalk service for
application interoperability and the Motif toolkit with
compatibility enhancements to support easy use by our current
OpenLook users. Additionally, the environment will support the
execution of existing XView and OLit applications.
No, I don't know what "compatibility enhancements to support ... OpenLook
users" means. To paraphrase a famous Supreme Court justice:
I don't know what it's going to look like, but it's going to
be *called* Motif.
Matt Landau Waiting for a flash of enlightenment
ma...@centerline.com in all this blood and thunder