IBM has announced the next version of AIX Unix - the first to include technology from the cross-supplier Monterey project.
The project, which includes IBM, Intel, SCO and Sequent, promises to reduce the number of strains of Unix on high-end servers, making application purchasing easier.
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IBM wants to establish AIX 5L as the broadest-based Unix available. The operating system will be available on IBM's RS/6000 platforms based on Power microprocessors, as well as Intel servers using the forthcoming Itanium IA-64 chip. It will also run on Intel 32-bit servers to provide a migration path for porting applications up to 64-bits.
Kirsten Ludvigsen, analyst at IDC, said broad support for AIX 5L could offer more flexible application strategy. "When the IA-64 processor starts to ship in volume, users will be able to compare price, performance and other factors with current Power-based servers and, when they feel comfortable, they can change platform whenever they choose."