X/Open and OSF Join to Create The Open Group

New Organization to Improve Coordination of Efforts to Develop and Implement Common Standards and New Technologies

SAN FRANCISCO, CA (February 14, 1996) -- X/Open Company, Ltd. and the Open Software Foundation (OSF), the two leading consortia for the advancement of open systems, today announced their consolidation into a new, more powerful worldwide organization, known as The Open Group. The new entity has been formed to strengthen and streamline the entire open systems process, including adoption of open systems specifications, development of specification-compliant technologies and promotion of their use in the global enterprise computing marketplace.

During a press conference here at UniForum 96, officials of The Open Group said the organization will focus immediately on the adoption of new open systems specifications and the development of technologies in three critical areas: open systems platforms, distributed computing and the Internet.

Single Advisory Board, Management Team, Customer/Marketing Councils

There will be a single Advisory Board for The Open Group, comprised of representatives from each of the existing OSF sponsors and X/Open shareholders, plus the independent software vendor (ISV) and end-user members of the two current boards of directors. Day to day operations of X/Open and OSF will be driven by a single management team, including senior executives of both OSF and X/Open as well as a new president and chief executive officer for The Open Group as a whole. An executive search for a new Open Group CEO is currently under way.

In conjunction with the consolidation, a new user organization has been established to serve the users of both X/Open and OSF to be known as the Open Group Customer Council (OGCC). The OGCC will bring together and replace the OSF End-User Forum and the X/Open User Council, creating a single common voice for end users within The Open Group. In addition, a single Marketing Council will serve the members of both X/Open and OSF.

Under the consolidation, X/Open and OSF will each maintain focus on its area of strategic strength. X/Open will continue to promulgate interface specifications for various product categories as well as certify and register products conforming to those specifications under the X/Open brand. OSF will continue to facilitate collaboration among end users, system vendors and software vendors toward the development of new open systems technologies.

According to officials of the new organization, The Open Group will be more than the sum of its parts. At the press conference today, OSF President and CEO Jim Bell stressed the synergies represented by the consolidation. "It is a natural step in the evolution of both organizations that we join forces to make the process more useful for the growing number of companies that use open systems to run their businesses," Bell said. "With strengthened commitment from member companies, this consolidation creates a prominent new worldwide force to drive and extend the momentum of open systems into the 21st century."

X/Open President and Chief Executive Officer Geoff Morris echoed Bell's emphasis on the evolutionary character of the consolidation. "Where it's appropriate for there to be a single, coordinated process, The Open Group is ideally positioned to optimize the resources of both OSF and X/Open and ultimately deliver the most real-world value to the marketplace," Morris said. "Working more closely than ever with customers, The Open Group will provide increased capacity and efficiency in technology and specifications development. The benefits will be reduced time to market and a wider range of open systems product offerings as the organization continues to stimulate technology innovation and development."

At today's press conference, Bell and Morris outlined a concrete set of market-focused objectives for 1996, including:

Strong Market Growth for Open Systems

According to industry analyst Judith Hurwitz, who spoke at The Open Group's press conference today, the need for a single coordinating organization has been driven by the continued rapid growth and increasing diversity of open systems enterprise computing. "More than any recent development in the open systems process, this consolidation improves the machinery that gets new products to market," Hurwitz said.

During her presentation, Hurwitz pointed to statistics showing the open systems marketplace currently growing at a cumulative annual rate of more than 15% in recent years, a rate more than double that of the enterprise computing industry as a whole. "The formation of The Open Group is really a sign of the industry's commitment to maintaining the rigorous standards for interactivity that make open systems platforms so desirable for an increasingly sophisticated customer base," Hurwitz said. "With the open systems universe expanding the way it has, this decision to speak with a single voice comes at just the right time."

Dedicated to the advancement of open systems, The Open Group is an international consortium of system vendors, ISVs and open systems end users. Under The Open Group umbrella, the Open Software Foundation and X/Open Company, Ltd. collaborate for the delivery of technology innovations and the integration of open systems standards within the industry. With U.S. headquarters in Cambridge, MA, and European headquarters in Reading, England, The Open Group maintains regional offices in Menlo Park, CA, Falls Church, VA, Brussels, Belgium, Grenoble, France and Tokyo, Japan. The combined organization employs approximately 275 people worldwide, with that number scheduled to grow in 1996 as the organization adds approximately 50 new employees to its research, technical development and marketing staff.

Founded in 1988, the Open Software Foundation delivers technology innovations in all areas of open systems, including interoperability, scalability, portability and usability. OSF is a coalition of worldwide vendors and users in industry, government and academia that work together to provide the best open systems technology solutions for distributed computing environment. OSF, the OSF logo and the Open Software Foundation re registered trademarks of the Open Software Foundation, Inc.

Founded in 1984, X/Open is dedicated to the identification, agreement and wide-scale adoption of information technology standards that reduce incompatibility and help users realize the business benefits of open information systems. The X/Open brand mark is recognized by developers and users worldwide as the guarantee of compliance to open systems standards. X/Open is also responsible for the management of the UNIX trade mark on behalf of the industry. X/Open is a registered trade mark, and the "X" device is a trade mark of X/Open Company, Ltd. UNIX is a registered trade mark in the United States and other countries, licensed exclusively through X/Open Company, Ltd.