Unix International and AT&T Unix Software Operation Announce Significant Changes To Unix System V Licensing

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 28, 1989 -- PRNewswire -- The AT&T UNIX Software Operation (USO), in response to direction from UNIX International, today announced significant changes to UNIX(R) System V licensing. These changes include an early access program for UNIX International members, and easier administration of UNIX System V licenses. In addition, the USO announced it would work with UNIX International to effect changes in the area of UNIX system conformance requirements.

UNIX International today agreed with AT&T that it would begin an early access program for UNIX System V Release 4 during March. The program is the most recent example of changes in the way the industry standard, UNIX System V, is being handled as a result of the formation of UNIX International.

The early access program has been set up to answer specifically the controversial issue of equal and timely access to development versions of UNIX System V. UNIX International members participating in the program will have equal opportunity to deliver products to the marketplace in a timely fashion.

Under the program, members with source code licenses from AT&T USO will receive early System V Release 4 tapes for internal use. This will enable their organizations to begin porting and testing of their own products at the earliest opportunity in the development process. In addition, members who take advantage of the program will receive terms and conditions for the licensing of System V Release 4 within 60 days of the start of the program.

This will allow members to plan with confidence.

"We are particularly pleased to offer our members this program, since it fulfills one of the key requirements of UNIX International -- leveling the playing field. This program in the future will allow our members to receive UNIX System V code at the same time as the internal development organizations, including sub-contractors. Everyone has the same head start," said Peter Cunningham, president and CEO of UNIX International. AT&T's Larry Dooling noted that AT&T's computer systems operations in the future will receive their copies of the load tapes only through the program. "AT&T is pleased to fulfill its commitment to support UNIX International in an early source code program," he said. "We look to UNIX International members for continuing feedback on how to improve our UNIX System V offering. This early access program advances the cause of open systems and the open systems market."

Other major changes announced affect the critical issues of conformance and administration. These changes occurred as a direct result of UNIX International's considerable work over the past few months in its Licensing and Conformance Workgroup.

"The Licensing and Conformance Workgroup identified two basic needs of the marketplace," said Cunningham. "First, there must be a standard interface definition to protect the investments of users and developers. Guaranteeing portability of software and people -- and that interface should reflect international standards such as the X/Open(TM) Common Applications Environment (CAE).

"Second, the UNIX system is today the industry standard because it fostered creativity, innovation and experimentation with almost no strings attached. Our direction to AT&T was that UNIX International members wanted both strengths. We asked them to design a set of terms that would reinforce conformance in standard environments through a series of mechanisms to be defined by UNIX International and USO. Licensees will also have access to certain technology without conforming to a mandatory set of specifications."

In response, the AT&T UNIX Software Operation announced that it will develop, in conjunction with UNIX International, both a standard interface definition for Release 4, which would be based on accepted international standards like the X/Open(TM) Common Application Environment (CAE), IEEE POSIX and FIPS, as well as terms that would allow companies to license certain UNIX System V technologies without a conformance requirement.

"Since we first issued the System V Interface Definition (SVID), many worldwide standards have emerged," said Larry Dooling, president, UNIX Software Operation. "We look forward to working with UNIX International to migrate the product to reflect these new standards."

Dooling indicated that the result of these joint efforts with UNIX International will be announced when the USO announces the full set of terms and conditions for UNIX System V Release 4 in the third quarter of this year.

The final major change announced was in the administrative area. Beginning immediately, licensees will have to report only quarterly on the following source code transactions:

-- Movement of designated CPUs from one location to another

-- Change from design CPU to replacement CPU

-- Addition of design CPUs

-- Authorization of source code transfer between licensees

Under the present licensing terms, licensees have to report each transaction individually and immediately. "When UNIX International came to us and asked us to look at some ways to reduce paperwork and bureaucracy in the licensing process, we began a real dialogue," Dooling said. "We think this is a good beginning. We expect to be constantly reviewing our processes in light of our customer input."

"We are extremely pleased with the responsiveness that AT&T has shown and the progress we have made in such a short time," said Cunningham. "This has been an extremely productive relationship."

UNIX International is a non-profit consortium formed to guide the future development of UNIX System V as the industry standard open operating system. Membership is open to all parties worldwide who are interested in the standardization and use of UNIX System V, including users, independent software vendors, computer manufacturers, systems integrators, resellers, industry standards bodies, industry consultants, academic and research institutions, government agencies and microprocessor vendors.

(R) UNIX is a registered trademark of AT&T.

(TM) X/Open and the "X" symbol are registered trademarks of X/Open Company Ltd. in the United Kingdom and other countries.

/CONTACT: Randall S. Coppersmith or Victoria B. Glazar, 212-757-9100, both of Edelman Public Relations, for UNIX International/ CO: UNIX International, AT&T UNIX Software Operation ST: California IN: CPR VH-KK -- SF004 -- 4106 02-28-89 17:23 EST

Copyright PR Newswire 1989 wire