SCO launches next generation Unix

SANTA CRUZ - Hailed as the biggest Unix move since the launch of System V release 4 in the late 1980s, SCO has taken the best features of its high-end and low-end products, added new features and will launch it as the next generation Unix operating system.

The company has chosen the UnixWare brand name, rather than OpenServer, for its first product based on the new release - System V Release 5 (SVR5).

The new version hinges on SCO's belief that the next wave of computing will move beyond client/server and host computing to a new model based on networking, where a variety of devices can act as clients. (From dumb terminals to desktop PCs, network computers, PDAs, other thin clients and any other network-enabled device.) "It could even be the next generation pop-up toaster," quipped Doug Michels, SCO's executive vice president and chief technology officer.

As higher-end developers migrate to the new release, the SCO Open Server brand is likely to disappear, although major enhancements were made earlier this yearThe product is expected to be in full production before the end of this year, and SCO officials claim developers can expect a performance increase of more than 250 per cent over SVR4 releases.

As well as preparing for a future 64-bit version, SVR5 supports up to 64Gb of main memory on the Intel platform; up to 1 terabyte file sizes and 512 logical disks.

Intel is backing the new operating system.

Vendors endorsing SCO's move include IBM, Compaq, Data General, Fujitsu and Computer Associates.