AT&T and Microsoft Corp. to Introduce a Version of the Unix System V Operating System for Intel Corp.'s 80386 Microprocessor

New York -- February 19, 1987 -- PRNewswire -- AT&T (NYSE: T) and Microsoft Corporation today announced they will introduce a specific version of the UNIX (R) System V operating system for Intel Corporation's 80386 microprocessor used in the newest generation of microcomputers.

This product will incorporate Microsoft's XENIX (A) System V compatibility into AT&T's UNIX System V Release 3 for computers using Intel's 80386 microprocessor. It will be distributed under AT&T's trademarked name "UNIX," and is expected to be available early in 1988.

Vittorio Cassoni, senior vice president of AT&T's Data Systems division, said, "This is the first time AT&T has licensed the trademark 'UNIX' for use as a product name. This is an extremely important step toward uniting the industry around a single UNIX System V standard. Microsoft is an ideal partner for us in this effort, since they are the industry leader in the development and distribution of system software for computers that use Intel microprocessors."

Cassoni also said he expects this implementation of UNIX System V, combined with the technology of the 80386, to create tremendous growth opportunities for computer manufacturers and software vendors. "And ultimately users will benefit," he said.

The 80386 microprocessor (commonly referred to as the 386) is the basis for the newest generation of 32-bit computers now being developed and marketed by many hardware manufacturers. The combination of the 386 and the multitasking, multiuser features of UNIX System V is a powerful, cost-effective system for a wide variety of applications.

While much of the computer systems industry is experiencing modest growth, the market based on UNIX System V is taking off, according to Cassoni.

He added that the installed base of computers using UNIX System V grew about 75 percent in the past year, and that the current installed base is roughly 60 times larger than when UNIX System V was introduced in 1983.

AT&T will continue to market UNIX System V and Microsoft will continue to market XENIX System V during development of this UNIX System V implementation. Applications written for Microsoft's XENIX System V and for UNIX System V will run on the new implementation of the UNIX system without modification. When the new product becomes available, AT&T and Microsoft will market it as the sole UNIX system product for the 386.

"Compatibility with existing applications for XENIX System V and UNIX System V on the 80286 and 80386 microprocessors means that this new implementation of UNIX System V will be born with a large existing base of application software," said Bill Gates, chairman, Microsoft Corporation, Bellevue, Wash., "Moreover," Gates continued, "the establishment of a standard interface combined with the power of the 386 will attract new application vendors."

"I am convinced that this announcement will clear the way for dramatic growth in the market for computers based on UNIX System V," Gates said.

This new implementation will provide software developers with a standard interface while allowing them the option of using either AT&T or Microsoft software development tools. Computer manufacturers and software vendors will be offered licenses to distribute products based on the new implementation.

UNIX System V, developed by AT&T, is a standard portable operating system, available on a wide variety of machines from PCs to mainframes. Microsoft is a licensee of UNIX system software, and, with its XENIX operating system, is one of the largest distributors of UNIX system-derived products.

Microsoft Corporation develops, markets and supports a wide range of software for business and professional use, including operating systems, languages and application programs, as well as books and hardware for the microcomputer marketplace.

(A) XENIX is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corp.

/CONTACT: Martin W. Nabut of AT&T, 201-221-2449 (office) or 201-538-0097 (home) or Julie Grecco or Pam Edstrom of The Waggener Group for Microsoft, 503-245-0905/

Copyright PR Newswire 1987 wire