Monday, December 11, 2006

Microsoft Unix

It sounds funny now, but Microsoft once actually had the most widely installed Unix base. Its version of Unix was called Xenix and it was distributed in the 80's by many vendors. What happened to it since then? Well, Microsoft sold it to SCO and moved on to develop OS/2 with IBM and then Windows NT.

Wikipedia has some interesting tidbits of information for Xenix here.
How it looked like back in the 80's? Here is a screenshot from wikipedia.

System V release 4, the standard for Unix today was formed by merging SunOS, BSD, Xenix, and System V.

Of course, the legacy of Microsoft Xenix is still around. But where to look to see the history of Unix ? All the flavours of Unix are closed source, or are they? Thanks to open sourcing of Solaris, we can now take a look into all the real Unix code and find some gems of Copyrights that silently narrate the history of Unix development.

For example, to see how the development of Unix has passed on from the University of California at Berkeley to AT&T and Microsoft to Sun Microsystems, have a look at this tar code.

Such is the beauty of Unix. Decades older than any other present day OSs and still holding on its own in the modern world. Not only that, it manages to beat others often in their own game and still come out at other times with such innovations that are the envy of the youngsters. Even spawning dozens of clones which are cool in their own way. Ubuntu, anyone?

Me? I'm happy with my good ol' Unix. Solaris, that is. For me.

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