PDP-11 Xenix (LONG)

David C. Jenner djenner at halcyon.com
Mon Oct 13 08:49:22 AEST 1997

OK, Frank is likely correct.  But I still don't think you'll find it
on the 'net!  It would be nice if it were in the PUP archives, though. 
it there might be hard because MS might still have some rights to it.

I did some digging, and here are some relevant dates:

 8/25/80   Microsoft announced DEC PDP-11 XENIX (along with versions for
           other machines--Intel 8086, Zilog Z8000, and Motorola
           [This would have to be Version 7 based.]

10/01/80   Microsoft notes PDP-11 XENIX is "scheduled for release".
[It's not
           clear if this means it was actually released on that date.]

12/08/81   Microsoft and SCO signed a letter of intent for SCO to be a
           source of XENIX.  [No mention of PDP-11; just that XENIX was
           upgraded to System III at that time.]

 1/22/85   Microsoft and AT&T announce plans for compatible future
           of XENIX and UNIX [based on System V].

 1/31/86   Microsoft and SCO announce new agreements for SCO to be prime
           of XENIX System V to VAR and VAD channels.

 2/15/89   Microsoft makes 20% minority investment in SCO.  [I seem to
recall that
           SCO got (all?) XENIX rights at this time.]

So it looks like there was a window of about a year when a Version 7
based XENIX
was probably available.  Certainly starting in 1983 Microsoft announced
all sorts
of versions of XENIX for other hardware, including IBM System 9000 (yes,
really was a HAL 9000 (Motorola MC68000-based)--I had a couple), IBM
UNIX PC and PC 6300, and Compaq machines.


Frank Wortner wrote:
> Since I'm the one that started this --- albeit indirectly --- let me try to
> explain.
> Way back when --- about 1981 or 82 --- I worked for a small (now defunct)
> software company.  We owned 2 PDP-11/23s.  Initially,  we ran a distribution
> of the Sixth Edition on them.  That came from a company in New York ---
> that's where I am geographically,  BTW --- called Yourdon.  The system was
> called UV6.
> After a while,  we decided to upgrade to V7.  At the time,  we had begun a
> relationship with another (now defunct) firm called Lifeboat Associates
> (also in New York,  later in Tarrytown, NY).  They distributed microcomputer
> software,  principally CP/M-based.  They were a Microsoft distributor.
> Microsoft had just started Unix development at the time.  Lifeboat sold us a
> V7 system:  Microsoft PDP-11 Xenix.  I know it was Microsoft because the
> tape lables said so, and I remember that the line printer printed release
> notes contained a banner page that indicated that they came from Microsoft's
> DEC 20(!) (cheerfully named "Microsoft Heating Plant").
> PD.-11 Xenix was essentially V7,  but it had a few added features.


> BTW,  if John or Bob reads this list,  l'd like to say "Thank you" to both
> of them.  Also thanks to Warren for his work preserving the old Unix
> software.  It's a great deal of fun to see old "friends" again,  and I think
> it will be just as much fun to see software and "hardware" combinations that
> I didn't have access to in the "good old days."  Thanks also to SCO for
> binary licenses for these "historic" systems;  I hope that they will be able
> to license source code in the near future.
> Sorry for the long ramble and thanks for reading!
> Frank
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