20 Years after - Where the @ction Still Is

20 Years After
Where the @ction Still Is

Ahhhh, 1981 - the Voyager reaches Saturn, disco is officially dead (in my mind anyway), Reaganomics is about to be born, the Iranian Hostage Crisis ends, Space Invaders conquers our youth, Robert De Niro wins Best Actor for Raging Bull, the PC takes the world by storm, and Unisphere Magazine is launched. That's right, this month Unisphere celebrates its 20th Anniversary.

Back when we were "The Magazine for UNIVAC Users," and the only color found in the magazine was on the cover, the buzz was asking if MAPPER was a reality or the implications of VS9 Migrations.

I admit my knowledge of UNIVAC is mostly from history books. But, 20 years ago, my predecessor's, predecessor's, predecessor's, predecessor, Charlotte Lowrie, commented on the changing times for Sperry UNIVAC computers. According to Charlotte, "Variety, innovation and a broadened marketing perspective have combined to put UNIVAC in the number two position in the industry." Well, Unisys may not be number two now, but that inventiveness helps keep loyal users, well, loyal.

Ch- ch- ch- ch- changes

With this 20th Anniversary Issue, Open Source UNIX or OSU seems to be the buzz du jour. OSU and Linux, in particular, seems to be hurtling forward on a rocket to the stars. Unfortunately, it leaves a vapor trail of hype clouding today's enterprise IT managers' perceptions of what is their most feasible solution.

While OSU's simplicity and trademark low cost make it ideal for small organizations with limited IT resources, large corporations who can afford not to jump into orbit are evaluating their invested options. And it's clear that although "Linux versus Windows 2000" makes for great headlines, like "Windows NT versus UNIX" once did, no single OS will drive out the other. Too many people have too much invested, in product, in training and in personnel to cut the cord and start over.

After all, despite selling between a million and a million-and-a-half copies of Linux in 1999, the free OS cashed in on only about $32 million in revenues. Compare that to Windows NT's $1.7 billion take - more than 30 percent of the entire OS market.

Unisys has made it clear where its loyalties will lie, and it's not in the OSU model. In fact, for Unisys and its users, the Windows 2000 launch was almost as significant as it was to Microsoft. With Windows 2000, Microsoft hopes to dominate the desktop, while penetrating the corporate enterprise data center.

To help mold this model, Unisys and Microsoft have collaborated on Windows 2000 development on a number of different levels. The foundation of both Microsoft's and Unisys' high-end strategy is the forthcoming Windows 2000 Datacenter Server.

To signify the collaboration, the Unisys e-@ction Enterprise Server ES7000 was used as a demonstration at the Windows 2000 announcement. Running Amadeus/ITA Software's low-fare search solution, the Unisys system employing an advance copy of Microsoft Windows 2000 Datacenter Server delivered near-linear scalability in a 16-processor environment.

During the keynote demonstration, Bill Gates commented that, "The exceptional system performance delivered in the Unisys demonstration of the Amadeus solution clearly proves that Windows 2000 can handle the most demanding business applications right now. It also shows that Unisys ES7000 provides an exceptionally powerful platform to capitalize on the enterprise computing capabilities of Windows 2000 for large-scale e-business solutions."

Furthering its move into the world of Oses, Unisys and Compaq signed a letter of intent under which Compaq will deliver CMP-based 32-processor platforms under the ProLiant brand. The final agreement with Compaq is expected to be completed within a month, and should have a potential value to Unisys of approximately $400 million over a two-year period.

Thanks for reading Unisphere. Here's to another 20 years.