Nine firms endorse code for computer

Associated Press
The Globe and Mail

January 16, 1987

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- Nine major computer companies have announced support for an international standard for computer graphics for technical and design uses, one of the hottest parts of the computer market.

The system, called X Windows, was developed by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to be used with any brand of computer or several different makes networking together.

Many computer makers have their own systems of windowing, or splitting computer screens into sections where several operations can be displayed and performed without interfering with one another.

A standard windowing system would make more applications available to people and companies who use computer-aided design, engineering or manufacturing or technical work stations because it would be easier for programmers to write software compatible with several different computer models.

William Parzybok, vice-president of the engineering group at Hewlett- Packard Co., said it was ''a very significant step forward . . . to get this many computer vendors together.''

Other companies endorsing X Windows as a standard at a conference yesterday were: Apollo Computer Inc., Dana Computers Inc., Digital Equipment Corp., Masscomp, Siemens AG, Sony Corp. and Stellar Computer Inc.

Two notable computer makers missing from the conference were International Business Machines Corp. and Sun Microsystems Inc. Spokesmen said in telephone interviews that both companies support X Windows and use them in some systems but were not ready to endorse them as the only standard.

The conference was not intended to endorse X Windows as the only windowing standard, but as a standard, and the first supported by the industry, said Vicki Brown of International Data Corp., a market research firm for the computer industry.

Aerospace, automotive and heavy manufacturing companies, which use computers for design, engineering and manufacturing, have become more adamant about wanting standards in the past two to three years, Ms Brown said.

That $5.3-billion (U.S.) market, along with the $1.1-billion technical work station sector that also could use the windowing standard, is one of the hottest growing sectors in the computer industry, she said.

''Even the industry's technological leaders have come to realize that one cannot go it alone - that standards are essential,'' said David Nelson, vice-president and chief technical officer of Apollo Computer.


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