December 16, 1996 10 AM ET

SCO continues Net integration in next-generation Unix
By Lisa Wirthman

  SCO is adopting an Internet-centric technology direction and revamping its 1997 product road map to fill in its missing pieces.

SCO announced last week plans to add Internet capabilities to the Non-Uniform Memory Access clustering architecture the company is integrating into Gemini--the forthcoming merger of SCO's UnixWare and OpenServer operating systems, due in mid-1997.

Other Internet enhancements for Gemini include the development of a new "Webtop" interface that will provide users with a unified view of their desktop resources and World Wide Web-based files and applications, said Scott McGregor, senior vice president of products for SCO, in Santa Cruz, Calif.

SCO is working to optimize all its client- and server-side software around the new Internet model by enhancing current products and introducing new technologies.

SCO will begin offering a Web browser in all its operating system products, starting with Gemini, and will continue to update its Internet FastStart family of third-party Web servers and browsers. The company also will integrate Java capabilities into its operating systems early next year.

In addition, the company is working to increase its support for multiple clients, McGregor said. SCO is developing a server-based technology, dubbed Tarantella, that will protect users' investments by enabling Windows, character-based, X Window System terminal, Motif and database applications to connect to any network computer or Java-based client.

Tarantella will be available in the second quarter of next year, he added.

"We will definitely use [Tarantella] in the future," said SCO user Scott Fenimore, executive vice president of Data Pro Accounting Software Inc., in Tampa, Fla.

As more and more NCs (network computers) are added to his company's networks, Fenimore said, "we don't want to have to redo our applications."

Other support for heterogeneous clients will be provided by SCO's small footprint NC/OS operating system for NCs when it ships early next year, according to McGregor.

SCO also is working on a version of its NC/OS for PCs with 386 and 486 processors that will enable them to function as NCs, he added.

"Overall, SCO has had a diverse client strategy for some time. The difference is that they are being explicit in positioning themselves against what Microsoft [Corp.] might do," said Jean Bozman, Unix and Windows NT analyst with International Data Corp., based in Mountain View, Calif.

Microsoft and SCO "are both pure software players running on Intel [chip-based systems]," Bozman said. "There's a head-to-head competition there."

SCO's goal is to emphasize that it can work well with Windows, but also with network computers and other Unix clients, according to Bozman. "They see themselves as more open and more approachable," she added.

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