Compaq's recent announcement to support Monterey/64 has added significant momentum to the merged Unix version, but the move is unlikely to be emulated by vendors such as Hewlett-Packard and Sun.
IBM, SCO, Sequent Computer Systems and Intel gathered late last year to kick-start an initiative to develop a new 64-bit Unix operating system (OS), code-named Monterey/64.
Compaq has promised to offer Monterey/64 on its 64-bit ProLiant servers.
Compaq is placing its bets on Monterey because it "does not want to be stuck with pushing only their own OS if the open source movement takes off in a big way", said Saleem Bikanerwala, principal industry analyst at GartnerGroup.
But others questioned whether Compaq's move to endorse Monterey/64 for its ProLiant servers would leave Alpha customers high and dry.
Alpha chips that Compaq inherited from its acquisition of Digital power the vendor's Alpha line of 64-bit servers.
Compaq's move to join Project Monterey is really an attempt to provide a migration strat-egy to unify disparate systems which include its Tru64 systems, and Tandem's NonStop and Guardian-based systems, said Victor Cheng, managing director, Sun Singapore.
The announcement will also further confuse Compaq's Unix customers, said Boey Yoke Khew, product marketing manager, enterprise business, HP South Asia. "Which Unix is strategic for Compaq? Will Tru64 Unix customers be left stranded?" he questioned.
However, competition may come from another OS that strongly adheres to open source codes and is offered free.
HP is confident that Linux will be a strong contender for the entry-level Unix market where customers do not need the enterprise features of HP-UX such as performance scaling, security and high availability, Boey said.
The question is, will customers and ISVs wait one to two years for Monterey/64 when Linux is available today?"