Bits & Bytes
GETTING THE UNIX OPEN SYSTEM ONTO THE OPEN MARKET
Of late, much ado has been made in the computer industry over "open systems," the concept of getting different kinds of machines to work together and share programs. So far, the Unix operating system, developed by AT&T, has come closest to achieving that. But Unix has yet to sell in high volumes, in part because there hasn't been a standard version of the software with widespread distribution.
Now, Unix Systems Laboratories Inc. (USL), a subsidiary of AT&T based in Summit, N. J., plans to sell Unix the way Microsoft Corp. sells MS-DOS, the operating system software that runs IBM-compatible PCs.. The company is forming a joint venture with network software leader Novell Inc. that will sell the software, complete with an easy-to-use graphics interface, to PC and workstation makers and maybe even through software retailers. The finished software is set for a mid-1992 release. By then, Microsoft is expected to ship the rival Windows NT operating system that will work on workstations that now most commonly run Unix.EDITED BY SUNITA WADEKAR BHARGAVA