Apple and IBM Offer Customers an Open-Systems Platform

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 2, 1991 -- PRNewswire -- Apple Computer Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) and IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced a software licensing agreement that will allow for the establishment of PowerOpen, an open-systems environment that will provide customers and developers an easy-to-use, standards-based, high-performance platform.

A future release of IBM's standards-based AIX operating system, based on the Open Software Foundation's OSF/1 operating system, will be combined with the world-class, easy-to-use Macintosh interface provided by Apple's UNIX offering, A/UX. This new operating system will run on the POWER (Performance Optimization with Enhanced RISC) architecture, as well as the PowerPC architecture announced today by Apple, IBM, and Motorola. The PowerOpen technologies will be licensed to other vendors. Apple and IBM each will use PowerOpen in future versions of their respective UNIX implementations, A/UX and AIX.

Both Apple's and IBM's RISC hardware lines will support the PowerOpen environment, giving customers access to the broadest set of applications on any UNIX-based open-systems platform, including the thousands of AIX and Macintosh applications. The new PowerOpen environment will provide customers with a highly scalable, standards- based, open-systems architecture ranging from desktop personal computers to very large network servers. Customers will have the choice of acquiring the Macintosh user interface, as well as the OSF/Motif interface, from both Apple and IBM. Additionally, customers will be able to preserve their application investments, as current AIX, A/UX, and Macintosh applications will be supported in the PowerOpen environment. The PowerOpen environment combines the best of both companies' current UNIX products. It makes use of the new PowerPC hardware, which is an architecture based on IBM's acclaimed RISC System/6000 and IBM's powerful AIX operating system. In addition, Apple's A/UX provides an easy-to-use, integrated Macintosh UNIX solution. Apple and IBM each plan to make their PowerOpen products conform to major industry standards, such as POSIX and X/Open.

Software developers will benefit from the new high-volume business opportunity offered them by the PowerOpen environment. Application developers will benefit from access to both A/UX and AIX on a single hardware platform with no need to recompile. In-house developers will benefit from the support of both companies and the wealth of development tools available.

"With this agreement, Apple will extend our easy-to-use A/UX by porting it to a widely accepted, standards-based kernel--OSF/1, and high-performance RISC system," said Michael Spindler, Apple's president and chief operating officer. "This new open-systems environment will allow customers to run the thousands of Macintosh productivity applications and AIX applications from our desktop personal computers on up to enterprise systems."

"AIX, the POWER architecture and the Macintosh user interface have had broad acceptance in the marketplace. The PowerOpen environment that results from this combination with the Macintosh desktop, interface and applications base will provide customers with an unequaled selection of UNIX-based solutions to meet their needs," said James A. Cannavino, IBM vice president and general manager, Personal Systems. "Additionally, it offers applications developers a very attractive business opportunity in the industry. This is clearly a big win for the entire marketplace."

The PowerOpen technologies will be made available to other vendors. Licensing details will be announced at a later date.

The companies also intend to form a new industry-wide organization to promote the PowerOpen environment with other manufacturers, software developers and end users.

Products resulting from this agreement are expected to reach the marketplace over the next two to three years.

Apple, the Apple logo, Macintosh, and A/UX are registered trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc.

AIX and RISC System/6000 are registered trademarks of IBM; PowerOpen and PowerPC are trademarks of IBM.

OSF/1 and OSF/Motif are trademark of the Open Software Foundation. X/Open is a trademark of X/Open Company, Limited in the United Kingdom and other countries.

UNIX is a registered trademark of UNIX System Laboratories.

CONTACT: Jackie Promes of Apple Computer Inc., 408-974-3609; or Judy Radlinsky of IBM, 914-642-4634/ 08:19 EDT

Copyright (c) 1991, PR Newswire