A couple of the reasons IBM has given for the delay in announcing AIX 3.0 and the new generation of RTs, according to William Filip, assistant general manager of the advanced workstation division in Austin, Texas, which has responsibility for development, are that not enough software support is yet in place, and that distribution channels […]
A couple of the reasons IBM has given for the delay in announcing AIX 3.0 and the new generation of RTs, according to William Filip, assistant general manager of the advanced workstation division in Austin, Texas, which has responsibility for development, are that not enough software support is yet in place, and that distribution channels for the new kit haven’t been finalised. This comes as no surprise given the fact that as yet not one software developer has one of the new machines with which to work – though there are reported to be over 80 anxiously awaiting arrival of advanced versions sometime next month. And in the US IBM is reorganising its reseller channels so that the new RT will come under its Marketing Operations Division rather than the National Distribution Division – IBM is having Industry Remarketers, who handle mid-rangesystems, to report to the new Marketing Operations Division in what is described as a move to get them closer to the direct sales force. What is clear is that the majority of IBM’s outlets will not be selling the system. The new RTs – they don’t have a name yet, except second generation RISC technology – will be built around the Micro Channel, although not necessarily one identical to the implementation in the PS/2 Model 70, although the two will have common input-output capabilities for add-on boards, and the same bus mastering for acceleration. IBM has not yet made a decision as to whether the new RISC technology will be licensed to third parties in the same fashion that Sun Microsystems licenses the Sparc chip. On the software side, Open System Interconnection protocols will be implemented in AIX in the future, TCP/IP support is or will be offered in MVS, OS/2, OS/400 and in Systems Network Architecture. For users that want a single interface across all architectures, including AIX, IBM says that X Window and the Motif graphical user interface will be available if required. To fulfill this, an X server capability will be implemented to reside on OS/2 under Presentation Manager, the X facility also being an optional extra under Systems Application Architecture, of which Presentation Manager is a part. In addition, Computer Reseller News suggests that more porting centres are to be established in every country in Europe, in the US, Canada, Australia and Japan to enable developers to develop versions of their applications for AIX. Filip said that IBM currently has a task force of 1,700 working specifically on the development of AIX and the new RTs the whole project has swallowed up $1,000m this year, or one sixth of IBM’s total research and development budget, a figure projected to double next year – nice to be able to spend that kind of money on something to which over half of the company is implacably hostile.