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From: lau...@RAND-UNIX.ARPA
Newsgroups: net.micro
Subject: Unix and the future
Message-ID: <9753@brl-tgr.ARPA>
Date: Sat, 6-Apr-85 00:18:34 EST
Article-I.D.: brl-tgr.9753
Posted: Sat Apr  6 00:18:34 1985
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Though I really hate to say this, it certainly is true that Unix as
an operating system environment only has a comparatively limited life 
ahead of it in anything resembling its current form.  Even many of the 
tools are showing serious signs of age and the perpetuation of old designs,
often with many known deficiencies, is not encouraging.

I can't help but wish that the sorts of efforts that could create a
completely new operating system with new, well designed tools (not
just "copies" of Unix stuff) would get as much attention as a Unix
rewrite.

Unix and its tools are primarily being perpetuated because 
ambitious newer stuff (that might not be compatible with the old
design but that would still be much better) isn't being written.
A truly ambitious effort would be to break loose from the Unix mold
with a totally different sort of OS and new tools and applications
packages that weren't based on the Unix design framework.  There's
a tremendous amount of work to be done in this area, and while
it wouldn't be easy, it would be a lot more useful in the long run
than basing work on essentially a "duplicated" Unix.

--Lauren--

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From: P...@MIT-XX.ARPA (P. David Lebling)
Newsgroups: net.micro
Subject: Re: Unix and the future
Message-ID: <9795@brl-tgr.ARPA>
Date: Mon, 8-Apr-85 10:39:36 EST
Article-I.D.: brl-tgr.9795
Posted: Mon Apr  8 10:39:36 1985
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On the contrary, Unix and its tools are primarily being perpetuated
because the cost-effectiveness of porting Unix to a new processor is
much higher than writing a new operating system.  Let's face it, they
made one good decision which outweighed all the later bad ones, which
was to write Unix in an easily portable language.

	Dave
	(pdl@xx)
-------

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From: lau...@RAND-UNIX.ARPA
Newsgroups: net.micro
Subject: Re: Unix and the future
Message-ID: <9809@brl-tgr.ARPA>
Date: Mon, 8-Apr-85 22:02:05 EST
Article-I.D.: brl-tgr.9809
Posted: Mon Apr  8 22:02:05 1985
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That's exactly my point.  The ease of porting the system has (in effect)
slowed development of other operating systems.  Major efforts to write
a different sort of system have been stymied by the cost/effectiveness
of just moving Unix to another piece of hardware.  My point is that 
a completely different sort of system, with completely different
tools that are not tied to the existing Unix conceptual framework, might
be an interesting task for a group of people who were NOT particularly
interested in cost/effectiveness issues but rather in technical issues
and the state of the art.

I've been working with Unix since the dim days of Version 5 (not to be
confused with System V!) and I'm not knocking Unix.  What I am saying
is that to the extent that new software efforts spend much of their
time emulating the same old Unix patterns from the mid-70's, a lot
of new ways of doing things, that could well be much better in the middle
to long run, will be ignored.

--Lauren--

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From: h...@houem.UUCP
Newsgroups: net.micro
Subject: Re: Unix and the future
Message-ID: <329@houem.UUCP>
Date: Tue, 9-Apr-85 00:19:02 EST
Article-I.D.: houem.329
Posted: Tue Apr  9 00:19:02 1985
Date-Received: Fri, 12-Apr-85 05:19:56 EST
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Organization: AT&T Bell Labs, Holmdel NJ
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>> Though I really hate to say this, it certainly is true that Unix as
>> an operating system environment only has a comparatively limited life 
>> ahead of it in anything resembling its current form.  Even many of the 
>> tools are showing serious signs of age and the perpetuation of old designs,
>> often with many known deficiencies, is not encouraging.

>> I can't help but wish that the sorts of efforts that could create a
>> completely new operating system with new, well designed tools (not
>> just "copies" of Unix stuff) would get as much attention as a Unix
>> rewrite.

>> Unix and its tools are primarily being perpetuated because 
>> ambitious newer stuff (that might not be compatible with the old
>> design but that would still be much better) isn't being written.
>> A truly ambitious effort would be to break loose from the Unix mold
>> with a totally different sort of OS and new tools and applications
>> packages that weren't based on the Unix design framework.  There's
>> a tremendous amount of work to be done in this area, and while
>> it wouldn't be easy, it would be a lot more useful in the long run
>> than basing work on essentially a "duplicated" Unix.

>> --Lauren--

Sounds interesting Lauren. Perhaps you could give us some examples of
what could be written but isn't. Also, what are some of the shortcomings
of the ``UNIX design framework'' and why would it be an ambitious
project to break out of it?

Howard G. Page
..!ihnp4!houem!hgp

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From: lau...@RAND-UNIX.ARPA
Newsgroups: net.micro
Subject: Unix and the future
Message-ID: <9...@brl-tgr.ARPA>
Date: Sat, 6-Apr-85 00:18:34 EST
Article-I.D.: brl-tgr.9753
Posted: Sat Apr  6 00:18:34 1985
Date-Received: Mon, 8-Apr-85 13:23:06 EST
Sender: n...@brl-tgr.ARPA
Lines: 22

Though I really hate to say this, it certainly is true that Unix as
an operating system environment only has a comparatively limited life 
ahead of it in anything resembling its current form.  Even many of the 
tools are showing serious signs of age and the perpetuation of old designs,
often with many known deficiencies, is not encouraging.

I can't help but wish that the sorts of efforts that could create a
completely new operating system with new, well designed tools (not
just "copies" of Unix stuff) would get as much attention as a Unix
rewrite.

Unix and its tools are primarily being perpetuated because 
ambitious newer stuff (that might not be compatible with the old
design but that would still be much better) isn't being written.
A truly ambitious effort would be to break loose from the Unix mold
with a totally different sort of OS and new tools and applications
packages that weren't based on the Unix design framework.  There's
a tremendous amount of work to be done in this area, and while
it wouldn't be easy, it would be a lot more useful in the long run
than basing work on essentially a "duplicated" Unix.

--Lauren--

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From: lau...@RAND-UNIX.ARPA
Newsgroups: net.micro
Subject: Re:  Unix and the future
Message-ID: <9838@brl-tgr.ARPA>
Date: Tue, 9-Apr-85 19:53:04 EST
Article-I.D.: brl-tgr.9838
Posted: Tue Apr  9 19:53:04 1985
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Of course.  That's precisely why I'm saying that significant
departures from the commercially successful Unix framework would
best be made by non-commercial (volunteer if you wish) groups,
who AREN'T necessarily interested in the economic aspects of the
existing framework.  Ideally, such groups would be working to
do exactly what the commercial interests don't necessarily want
to do: take a risk on a new sort of operating system and new
tools that are NOT based on the existing Unix framework.

There are very solid reasons why (from a commercial standpoint)
firms are likely to stick with a known commercial winner.  And that's
well and good.  All I'm saying is that the non-commercial people
represent the ideal forum for producing something new that isn't
based on the Unix conceptual models.  If they don't do it, it
is unlikely that anyone else will for some time to come.

--Lauren--

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From: d...@terak.UUCP (Doug Pardee)
Newsgroups: net.micro
Subject: Re:  Unix and the future
Message-ID: <498@terak.UUCP>
Date: Thu, 11-Apr-85 12:16:57 EST
Article-I.D.: terak.498
Posted: Thu Apr 11 12:16:57 1985
Date-Received: Sun, 14-Apr-85 06:35:56 EST
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Organization: Terak Corporation, Scottsdale, AZ, USA
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> There are very solid reasons why (from a commercial standpoint)
> firms are likely to stick with a known commercial winner.

Unix?  A commercial winner???  So far Unix(tm) has generated a lot of
*predictions* of becoming a commercial winner.  And so far Unix has
failed rather miserably to live up to those predictions.

What O/S has Unix outsold?  The non-existent S1?  Cray-1's O/S?

Unix has been living on the incredible predictions of its impending
inevitable success.  Those predictions are starting to ring hollow.

I fearlessly predict that Unix will continue to do well in the "niche"
market it already owns: systems used for developing programs which will
be burned into PROMs.  I also predict that Unix will not make any major
inroads into other applications.
-- 
Doug Pardee -- Terak Corp. -- !{hao,ihnp4,decvax}!noao!terak!doug

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From: m...@mips.UUCP (John Mashey)
Newsgroups: net.micro
Subject: Re:  Unix and the future
Message-ID: <122@mips.UUCP>
Date: Mon, 15-Apr-85 18:14:35 EST
Article-I.D.: mips.122
Posted: Mon Apr 15 18:14:35 1985
Date-Received: Thu, 18-Apr-85 02:08:42 EST
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Organization: MIPS Computer Systems, Mountain View, CA
Lines: 64

> Unix?  A commercial winner???  So far Unix(tm) has generated a lot of
> *predictions* of becoming a commercial winner.  And so far Unix has
> failed rather miserably to live up to those predictions.
> What O/S has Unix outsold?  The non-existent S1?  Cray-1's O/S?
> Unix has been living on the incredible predictions of its impending
> inevitable success.  Those predictions are starting to ring hollow.
> I fearlessly predict that Unix will continue to do well in the "niche"
> market it already owns: systems used for developing programs which will
> be burned into PROMs.  I also predict that Unix will not make any major
> inroads into other applications.
> Doug Pardee -- Terak Corp. -- !{hao,ihnp4,decvax}!noao!terak!doug

When you predict the past, be careful; it's easy to be proven wrong.

1) It is clear that there has been way too much marketing hype around UNIX
for the last few years, especially from people who really don't understand
it very well.  Nevertheless:

2) Either I don't understand the English language at all, or the "fearless
prediction" above is not exactly based on awareness of facts.  Now, some facts:

2.1) UNIX applications have clearly gotten far outside the niche described.
2.1.1) Inside ATT & the RBOCs, there are thousands of systems that run UNIX;
A small sample of what they do includes:
	a) Running laboratory equipment [inside Bell Labs]
	b) Running manufacturing processes [inside ATT Technologies]
	c) Running telephone repair [611] [Automated Repair Servive Bureau]
		See BSTJ, July-August 82, v61, No. 6, Part 2.
	d) Assigning Main Distributing Frame equip (i.e., telephone line assgnt)
		(COSNIX UNIX variant, one of the earlist)
	e) Running switching machine attached processors and systems for
		operator support (DMERT derivative on 3B20Ds)
	f) Running office automation [ATT Communications /Long Lines, esp]
	g) Running a wide variety of specific applications: see last 7 articles
		of the original BSTJ UNIX issue, Jul-Aug 1978, 57, no 6, part 2.
	None of the above is particularly secret; since I'm not there any more,
	I have no idea of the current worth of UNIX-related h/w and s/w, but
	I'd be surprised if it were less than $1Billion.
2.1.2) I'm less familiar with applications outside ATT, but let's try a few:
	a) Graphics applications at a raft of places, such as LucasFilm.
	b) Graphics and engineering workstations (many)
	c) Network Operations centers [BBN & elsewhere]
	d) Office automation systems of various sorts[some current, some future]
		old example: Air Force Data Services Center (?) text processing
	e) ??? Inside the NSA: I'm not sure what they do in there, but they've
		sure had UNIX a LONG time, starting with PWB/UNIX in 75/76.

2.2) It's hard to tell exactly how many UNIX boxen are around.  I've seen
estimates in fairly conservative, non-hype articles of 150,000 by YE84.
Since I'm not a marketeer, I don't have numbers I believe at my fingertips,
but I have to believe that there are at least a few $100M/year of UNIX
boxes being shipped [if one only adds up the revenues of UNIX-based companies].
Of course, there is really a lot more, but it's always murky.
Maybe somebody out there has some good numbers.

Anyway, as always, UNIX is no panacea; it's important to know what it's good
for and what it isn't and to separate reality from the hype.  Nevertheless,
it's hard to see the fit of the "fearless prediction".
-- 
-john mashey
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From: d...@terak.UUCP (Doug Pardee)
Newsgroups: net.micro
Subject: Re:  Unix and the future (heating up)
Message-ID: <509@terak.UUCP>
Date: Thu, 18-Apr-85 13:12:09 EST
Article-I.D.: terak.509
Posted: Thu Apr 18 13:12:09 1985
Date-Received: Mon, 22-Apr-85 06:46:43 EST
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me> Unix?  A commercial winner???  So far Unix(tm) has generated a lot of
me> *predictions* of becoming a commercial winner.  And so far Unix has
me> failed rather miserably to live up to those predictions.

me> I fearlessly predict that Unix will continue to do well in the "niche"
me> market it already owns: systems used for developing programs which will
me> be burned into PROMs.  I also predict that Unix will not make any major
me> inroads into other applications.
 
> 2.1) UNIX applications have clearly gotten far outside the niche described.
> 2.1.1) Inside ATT & the RBOCs, there are thousands of systems that run UNIX;

This is a *commercial* success??  AT&T wrote and *owns* Unix.  Unix is
a *trademark* of AT&T (wasn't it slick how I worked that in?).  They
didn't "sell" it to themselves.

> 2.1.2) I'm less familiar with applications outside ATT, but let's try a few:
> 	a) Graphics applications at a raft of places, such as LucasFilm.
> 	b) Graphics and engineering workstations (many)

No significant number of *graphics* workstations have been *sold* with
Unix on them.  Many have recently been announced, very few are even
available yet.

A number of *engineering* workstations have, but that is the market
which I acknowledge Unix is dominant in and will indeed retain.

> 	c) Network Operations centers [BBN & elsewhere]
> 	d) Office automation systems of various sorts[some current, some future]
> 		old example: Air Force Data Services Center (?) text processing

Unix for word processing??  Is this a joke or something??

> 	e) ??? Inside the NSA: I'm not sure what they do in there, but they've
> 		sure had UNIX a LONG time, starting with PWB/UNIX in 75/76.

Might not NSA need to develop programs to be put into PROMs?

> 2.2) It's hard to tell exactly how many UNIX boxen are around.  I've seen
> estimates in fairly conservative, non-hype articles of 150,000 by YE84.

Somehow, I'm not impressed with 150,000 sales.  IBM sold twice that many
PCjr's last year, and considered it a dismal failure.  How many VAX/VMS
systems are around?  How many IBM MVS systems are around?

> Since I'm not a marketeer, I don't have numbers I believe at my fingertips,
> but I have to believe that there are at least a few $100M/year of UNIX
> boxes being shipped [if one only adds up the revenues of UNIX-based companies].

Again, I'm not impressed.  A couple of Cray's will produce that much
revenue.  IBM takes in *billions* a year from the PC alone.

Heck, back in late '82 Jean Yates predicted that in '83 there would be
600,000 Unix systems sold, and Mini-Micro Systems magazine predicted
that in '83 Microsoft would reap $2 billion off of Xenix licenses.
After Yates left Gnostic Concepts, her job was taken over by Brian Boyle
who (in '83) made a much more modest prediction that there would be
124,000 Unix boxes sold in '84.  Now that '84 is behind us, he is quoted
in the 2/85 issue of Unix/World, "...things have fallen somewhat short."

Faced with terrible sales of the Apple ///, the Apple Computer Company
declared the Apple /// to be a "commercial success".  Then they fired
everyone involved and stopped production.  Claiming "commercial success"
is easy.  Actually succeeding commercially is something else again.

Check out Fortune Systems, one of the largest (if not *the* largest)
vendors of Unix boxes.  Since they went public in early '83, they have
lost money every quarter except 2Q84, when they made $40,000 on sales
of $20,300,000.  In the 1-3/4 years since they went public, they have
lost over $40 million.  In 4Q84, they took in $18 million and spent
$33 million.  Is this commercial success?

Mark Ursino, Technology Services Corp, quoted in Computerworld 5/28/84:
"In the past four years, there have been 70,000 microcomputers with
Unix or a Unix derivative sold.  Apple shipped 70,000 Mackintoshes in
four months."  Fortune sells a 68000/Unix system, the Mack is a 68000
without Unix.  Which one is a commercial success?  Did you notice that
Atari is *not* offering Unix on its new 68000 "ST" line?
-- 
Doug Pardee -- Terak Corp. -- !{hao,ihnp4,decvax}!noao!terak!doug

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From: m...@mips.UUCP (John Mashey)
Newsgroups: net.micro
Subject: Re:  Unix and the future (heating up)
Message-ID: <127@mips.UUCP>
Date: Wed, 24-Apr-85 00:24:48 EST
Article-I.D.: mips.127
Posted: Wed Apr 24 00:24:48 1985
Date-Received: Thu, 25-Apr-85 04:23:00 EST
Organization: MIPS Computer Systems, Mountain View, CA
Lines: 138

> me> Unix?  A commercial winner???  So far Unix(tm) has generated a lot of
> me> failed rather miserably to live up to those predictions.
> 
> me> I fearlessly predict that Unix will continue to do well in the "niche"
> me> market it already owns: systems used for developing programs which will
> me> inroads into other applications.
>  
> > 2.1.1) Inside ATT & the RBOCs, there are thousands of systems that run UNIX;
> 
> This is a *commercial* success??  AT&T wrote and *owns* Unix.  Unix is
> a *trademark* of AT&T (wasn't it slick how I worked that in?).  They
mash> Wrong.  We did "sell" it to ourselves.  For some reason the belief
persists that AT&T was and is a monolithic entity with decisions made from the
top.  There is a class of UNIX-based applications essentially mandated by
AT&T and required of the BOCs. There is a much larger class that had to be sold
a) internally vs other competitive possibilities or b) Externally, against
competitive developments from BOCs themselves or against other companies
selling to BOCs.  Most of UNIX's spread inside Bell was a piecemeal, grassroots
phenomenon; there was a whole lot of selling, not mandating.  [The earliest
UNIX_based system that I know of, COSMOS, had to fight for its life against
internal and external competition.  Project managers [including me] of
oeprations systems spent a lot of time in a marketing/selling role.
> 
> > 	a) Graphics applications at a raft of places, such as LucasFilm.
> > 	b) Graphics and engineering workstations (many)
> 
> No significant number of *graphics* workstations have been *sold* with
> Unix on them.  Many have recently been announced, very few are even
> available yet.
> 
> A number of *engineering* workstations have, but that is the market
I didn't realize that these existed for PROM code.
> which I acknowledge Unix is dominant in and will indeed retain.
> 
> > 	c) Network Operations centers [BBN & elsewhere]
> > 	d) Office automation systems of various sorts[some current, some future]
> > 		old example: Air Force Data Services Center (?) text processing
> 
> Unix for word processing??  Is this a joke or something??

No, it's not a joke.  It is a fact that there exist successful UNIX-based OA
systems ranging from mail & simple WP systems to complex text-processing ones,
as in scientific journals: see Lesk & Kernighan, "Computer Typesetting of
Technical Journals on UNIX", Proc. AFIPS NCC, 46 (1977), 879-888.
[This is no claim that UNIX is optimal or any such thing, merely useful in
certain applications.]  As I recall, didn't the IRS just buy a horde of
Zilog systems for OA?
> 
> > 	e) ??? Inside the NSA: I'm not sure what they do in there, but they've
> > 		sure had UNIX a LONG time, starting with PWB/UNIX in 75/76.
> 
> Might not NSA need to develop programs to be put into PROMs?
> 
Probably. [Actually, I think they were at first using PWB's like everybody
else, but to allow better security.]
> > 2.2) It's hard to tell exactly how many UNIX boxen are around.  I've seen
> > estimates in fairly conservative, non-hype articles of 150,000 by YE84.
> 
> Somehow, I'm not impressed with 150,000 sales.  IBM sold twice that many
> PCjr's last year, and considered it a dismal failure.  How many VAX/VMS
> systems are around?  How many IBM MVS systems are around?
> 
This gets to the fundamental issue of this discussion: what is commercial
success? [As I recall, lauren started all this: what did you mean?]  I've
naively been assuming that anything that generates revenues in the
multi-$100M/year at least is probably commercially successful, notwithstanding
the success of other products.  One must of course be careful to compare
apples and oranges: selling 1 Cray probably makes a salesperson happier than
selling 10 PCjrs.
> > Since I'm not a marketeer, I don't have numbers I believe at my fingertips,
> > but I have to believe that there are at least a few $100M/year of UNIX
> > boxes being shipped [if one only adds up the revenues of UNIX-based companies].
> 
> Again, I'm not impressed.  A couple of Cray's will produce that much
> revenue.  IBM takes in *billions* a year from the PC alone.
Fact: according to Forbes, CRAY revenues were $229M last year; I assume that
was more than just a couple Crays [admittedly, they go further than most].
> 
> Heck, back in late '82 Jean Yates predicted that in '83 there would be
> 600,000 Unix systems sold, and Mini-Micro Systems magazine predicted
> that in '83 Microsoft would reap $2 billion off of Xenix licenses.
> After Yates left Gnostic Concepts, her job was taken over by Brian Boyle
> who (in '83) made a much more modest prediction that there would be
> 124,000 Unix boxes sold in '84.  Now that '84 is behind us, he is quoted
> in the 2/85 issue of Unix/World, "...things have fallen somewhat short."
As I noted in this sequence somewhere, one perceives the same sort of hype
going on as happened inside BTL in 1977ish.  I'm still not sure how one
rates success or not, but I hope it isn't just by rating against predictions.
> 
> Faced with terrible sales of the Apple ///, the Apple Computer Company
> declared the Apple /// to be a "commercial success".  Then they fired
> everyone involved and stopped production.  Claiming "commercial success"
> is easy.  Actually succeeding commercially is something else again.
> 
> Check out Fortune Systems, one of the largest (if not *the* largest)
> vendors of Unix boxes.  Since they went public in early '83, they have
> lost money every quarter except 2Q84, when they made $40,000 on sales
> of $20,300,000.  In the 1-3/4 years since they went public, they have
> lost over $40 million.  In 4Q84, they took in $18 million and spent
> $33 million.  Is this commercial success?
Of course not.  Not every PC clone company made it either.  One can
speculate on Fortune's problems.  I speculate that problems may be less
to do with UNIX than with other problems [that I'd rather not name here.
P.S. I have worked with / do work with / worked for a bunch of ex-Fortune
people and I still have the same opinion.]
> 
> Mark Ursino, Technology Services Corp, quoted in Computerworld 5/28/84:
> "In the past four years, there have been 70,000 microcomputers with
> Unix or a Unix derivative sold.  Apple shipped 70,000 Mackintoshes in
> four months."  Fortune sells a 68000/Unix system, the Mack is a 68000
> without Unix.  Which one is a commercial success?  Did you notice that
> Atari is *not* offering Unix on its new 68000 "ST" line?
> -- 
> Doug Pardee -- Terak Corp. -- !{hao,ihnp4,decvax}!noao!terak!doug

There is no reason for UNIX to be on everything; it is still a mini-computer
OS being shoehorned onto microcomputers (in some cases). Just because one
product is successful doesn't make another unsuccessful - one can make
comparisons on sales, profits, units, etc, but there's no need to turn
everything into a binary decision of successful vs unsuccessful.  If you look
at revenuess, it's real hard to tell - I'd expect that the ASP of the
UNIX-based micros was $10-20K at least, somewhat more than a Mac.

To summarize: 1) It is a demonstrable fact that UNIX is used commercially
in numerous applications outside burning proms.  2) It is unclear what
"commerically successful" means, esp. if viewed as a binary choice.  3) It
is a demonstrable fact that UNIX-based companies have failed; it is also
a fact that UNIX-based companies and UNIX-based parts of others have
succeeded to some degree or other.  4) It is a fact that there has been more
hype than necessary, and that this works likethe stock market: your
companies profits go up, and your stock price drops like a stone, because
some analysts had predicted even better profits.  sigh....
-- 
-john mashey
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		       SCO Files Lawsuit Against IBM

March 7, 2003 - The SCO Group filed legal action against IBM in the State 
Court of Utah for trade secrets misappropriation, tortious interference, 
unfair competition and breach of contract. The complaint alleges that IBM 
made concentrated efforts to improperly destroy the economic value of 
UNIX, particularly UNIX on Intel, to benefit IBM's Linux services 
business. See SCO vs IBM.

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