Unix Leaders Complete First Release of Specification for Common Open Software Environment Desktop

JUNE 30, 1993--Hewlett-Packard Company, IBM Corporation, SunSoft, Inc., and UNIX System Laboratories, Inc., today announced that they have completed the first release of the specification for the common desktop environment, an innovative, intuitively easy-to-use desktop computer environment being developed to run on multiple UNIX system-based workstations and desktop computers.

The initial common desktop environment specification developed under the common open software environment process, will be the base for a new evolution in open systems desktop interfaces. It will allow software developers to create applications that look and behave the same way when used across multiple UNIX systems that use the common desktop environment interface.

The companies have submitted the initial specification, which includes descriptions for a broad range of common desktop environment components, to the X/Open Company Ltd. open systems organization. This fulfills the commitment the companies made at the March announcement of the common open software environment process to deliver the specification to X/Open in June.

X/Open is providing both electronic media and hard copy versions to the industry and accepting comments on the specification. X/Open will also solicit feedback from a special open meeting of its Desktop User Requirements Group, scheduled for July 12th, and through its recently announced Common Desktop Environment Working Group, which is holding its first meeting on July 13th-15th. both meetings will be held in San Francisco. Details are available through X/Open. A final specification proposal will be completed later this year and submitted to the X/Open Fast-Track process which provides a way for specifications with broad industry support to be integrated more quickly into X/Open's XPG specifications.

"We are pleased to begin industry review of this first release of specifications for the common desktop environment," said Geoff Morris, president and CEO of X/Open Company Ltd. "The prompt delivery of this initial specification is evidence of the commitment of these organizations to bring these technologies into the open systems arena. We look forward to working with both vendor and user organizations to deliver these specifications in an open environment that meets user requirements and is supported by the X/Open Brand."

The components in the first release of the common desktop environment specification address a wide range of tasks needed to write application software, from font and printing options, to customization services, multiuser collaboration tools and online help facilities. Key components include:

The common desktop environment interface, being developed by HP, IBM, SunSoft and USL, incorporates aspects of HP's Visual User Environment (VUE); IBM's Common User Access model and Workplace Shell; the Open Software Foundations' Motif toolkit and Window Manager; SunSoft's ToolTalk software with an incorporated HP Encapsulator, and OPEN LOOK and DeskSet productivity tools; and USL's UNIX SVR4.2 desktop manager components and scalable systems technologies.

The four companies intend to make a common desktop environment implementation available for licensing by the industry that will be base4d o n the final specification adopted by X/Open. Individual company sales organizations should be contacted regarding licensing terms and availability.

As separately announced today, these companies, along with the Santa Cruz Operation, Inc., Univel and the UniForum Association, will host a U.S. developers conference October 26th-28th in San Jose, Calif. At the conference, attendees will receive an early release of the software and documentation as well as more detailed information on the common desktop environment specification and reference implementation. The first release of the specification will be available to the industry by electronic mail, by request to XoCdeSpecs @ xopen.co.uk through the Internet electronic mail network. Published copies can be obtained from X/Open by contacting X/Open Ltd., P.O. Box 109, Penn, High Wycombe, Bucks HP10 8NP, England. Tel: +44 (0) 494 813844. Fax: +44 (0) 494 814989.

The common open software environment process was announced by HP, IBM, SCO, SunSoft, Univel and USL in March 1993. It is intended to expedite the adoption of standards and promote greater consistency and interoperability among UNIX system products in the industry.

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Trademarks: IBM is a registered trademark of International Business Machines Corporation. Open Software Foundations and Motif are trademarks of the Open Software Foundations. SCO is a trademark of The Santa Cruz Operation, Inc. ToolTalk, DeskSet, and SunSoft are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun Microsystems, Inc. OPEN LOOK and UNIX are registered trademarks of UNIX System Laboratories, Inc. Univel is a trademark of Univel. X/Open is a trademark of X/Open Company Ltd.