August 16, 1999 5:00 AM PDT

Monterey gathers more support

More companies have agreed to sell the Monterey-64 operating system, a new version of Unix targeted for the Merced chip, the leaders of the project will announce today.

Samsung will sell the new operating system--a combination of the Unix flavors from Santa Cruz Operation, IBM, and Sequent--that will arrive in 2000 with Intel's next-generation 64-bit chip, Merced, said Mike Foster, director of corporate marketing at SCO. While Samsung is a significant company, the largest share of Monterey-64 sales likely will come from bigger players such as IBM and Compaq.

In addition, Computer Associates, which sells software to help large companies keep track of all the computers in their networks, will create versions of its Unicenter TNG program for Monterey-64, Foster said. The announcements, along with new Linux services from SCO, will be made today at a SCO conference in Santa Cruz, California.

Monterey-64 is one of several operating systems that Intel is helping to prepare for the arrival of Merced. Others include Sun's Solaris, Hewlett-Packard's HP-UX, Compaq's Tru64 Unix, Microsoft's Windows 2000, and Linux. IBM and SCO are hoping to make Monterey-64 sell in the highest volumes.

SCO and IBM will share revenues from Monterey-64 sales, but Monterey-64 is a very different part of the two companies' product line. Where SCO's business is selling Unix, IBM sells billions of dollars of hardware and services as well. Indeed, at the same time it's helping with Monterey-64, IBM has also joined the effort to bring Linux up to speed on Merced.

IBM has said that it believes Monterey-64 will be a much higher-end product than Linux for the time being, and SCO is unworried about Linux, said Foster.

IBM's acquisition a month ago of server maker and Monterey-64 partner Sequent created "an incredible surge of interest" in Monterey-64, Foster said.

Moreover, Linux has helped SCO by drawing more attention to Unix in general, Foster said. "It spurs innovation, its new wind in the sails of Unix on Intel, and it's kicking the teeth out of Microsoft in the marketplace."

SCO's Unix products kept a 40 percent share of the server operating system market from 1997 to 1998, said Dan Kusnetzky, an analyst with International Data Corporation.

However, during the same time, SCO wasn't able to wring as much money from each product it sold, he said. "Their shipments increased about 10 percent, and their revenues increased about 5 percent. Do you suppose that they're being forced to discount more?"

The Monterey team will aim Montery-64 at what computer industry marketers call solutions: the collections of hardware, software, and support that are integrated to accomplish a specific task. Among those specific jobs will be e-commerce, managing companies' shipments to and from suppliers and customers, and running complex accounting software.

 

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