An Unexpected Turn of Events?

There is a resurgence in enthusiasm for UNIX, and it’s all pretty much down to the Internet. Not only does 90% of the Internet operate under the control of UNIX systems, the success of the Internet has raised general awareness of UNIX as a viable all-round operating system.

The Internet's convenience as a medium for support through news groups and mailing lists means that many UNIX users feel themselves to be better supported than users of proprietary operating systems whose publishers are besieged by support requests that only they can deal with.

An open system like UNIX is even proving to be easier to manage and maintain in a growing number of installations; especially since there is no "proprietor" denying that obvious bugs exist, or re-writing the rules behind the users’ backs.

Many computer professionals readily acknowledge the benefits and advantages of UNIX, especially since the hardware requirement that once looked "enormous" is now only the same as is being mooted for 32 bit operating systems from Microsoft and IBM. Novell in particular may be grooming a dark horse. Since UNIX offers the only option, they have to take the wheels off the Microsoft bandwagon for workstation-cum-desktop operating systems and network operating systems in one fell swoop.

However, there is just one fly in the ointment, and it is called "general UNIX applications support". There are none to speak of at present, although products like Ovation (described in this issue) may be indicative of a growing trend to take Unix seriously at last. Many users hope so.