[TUHS] TUHS Digest, Vol 83, Issue 8

A. P. Garcia a.phillip.garcia at gmail.com
Sat Jul 16 11:05:30 AEST 2011

> To call this joint is complete nonsense.  Sun was in a cash bind, AT&T
> wanted to make SVR4 the main Unix platform and SunOS was winning.  The
> story I heard, not widely known, is that AT&T bought a big pile of Sun
> stock at 35% over market - in return for which Sun had to dump their BSD
> based SunOS and go to SVR4.
> Biggest mistake Sun ever made in my opinion.

"Sun has helped spark a major controversy within the UNIX community
that may have split it into different directions.

The controversy began to heat up in October 1987, when AT&T announced
that it would license Sun's SPARC architecture as the basis for AT&T
computer systems. Furthermore, said AT&T, it was going to collaborate
with Sun to develop a UNIX "standard" that would eliminate
deficiencies in the operating system--such as lack of features for
commercial applications--and be compatible at the binary level across
the entire SPARC architecture.

Not surprisingly, other companies in the UNIX Community smelled
incipient monopolistic practices that would give AT&T and Sun an
unqualified advantage in the UNIX market. These moves would
effectively make the Sun/AT&T-developed System V and SPARC proprietary
standards controlled by the two companies. This perception was
bolstered in January 1988, when AT&T announced that it had agreed to
purchase 20 percent of Sun by buying shares, in amounts and at times
determined by Sun, at 25 percent above current market value."
[Sunburst: The Ascent of Sun Microsystems, p. 112-113]

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