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Date   : Wed, 10 Jun 1981203:29:00-MDT
From   : Frank J. Wancho <WANCHO@DARCOM-KA>
Subject: CP/M vs **NIX in the Office Environment

The following edited exchange came about when Bob Bloom
(IME-TECOM@OFFICE-2) solicited comments about a "spec" for a
CP/M-based communicating Word Processor for an office environment...

I believe there are several statements made herein which should not go
unchallenged by those of us on this list who use tools which run in
the CP/M environment in the office.

I present this as only a temporary diversion from our otherwise highly
technical discussion.  Please limit any responses to factual and
well-founded comments and information, as has been the norm for this

Also, please be sure to include the above CC: list in your replies, as
most of these people are not on INFO-CPM.


Date: Tuesday, 9 June 1981  13:46-PDT
From: STEF
Re:   Communicating WP Equipment


CP/M is an operating system environment for very small machines, which
will not grow up to run on larger machines when they become as
inexpensive as the CP/M machines are today.  I am speaking
specifically of the 16 bit micros of the ONYX class, which will begin
to displace the CP/M "price-range" machines in about one year from

If you go the CP/M route, you will invest lots of money in building
systems to run in an environment that will be very hard to maintain in
the face of the obviously better quality of the UNIX/XENIX environment
which is just around the corner.

The trend is toward larger machines becoming cheap, and able to run
the software implemented on the larger machines.  This means that you
should be building your applications software now on the currently
available UNIX systems, with intention to later run that same software
on equivalent sized but cheaper machines next year, and the year
after, etc.  .....

In short, your MicroComputer with CP/M development strategy is running
directly counter to the main driving forces of the industry and the
economics of technology advances.

You should be targeting for full capability Message handlers such as
XMSG and MMDF plus SCRIBE and EMACS equivalent tools, which are much
more easily built now for the larger machines, than can be implemented
in the limited capability CP/M machines.


May I suggest that you take full advantage of the work that has been
done, by opening up the options by replacing CP/M with UNIX, and
adding mail handling capabilities with "message data base" software,

I think you will find that more of the software has already been built
for the UNIX environment than you plan to implement for the CP/M

Date: Wednesday, 10 June 1981  17:46-PDT
From: STEF
Re:   FYI:  [Dave Farber <farber@udel>:  Xerox "worms into Apple?"]

Dave Farber originated this item, which relates to the CP/M proposal.

    Today's Wall Street Journal has a product announcement for the
    Xerox 820, a low cost information processor that can be used as a
    desktop computer or word-processing system.  The basic system
    costs 2,995 and comes with a display, a microprocessor, a keyboard
    unit, and dual floppies.  The article hints that it can be
    connected to the Ethernet.

    If I remember correctly it uses an 8086 with CP/M.  Interesting
    recognition of the dominence of CP/M is the micro marketplace.


....  I would comment that several aspects of the Xerox strategy seem
strange to me, so I am not convinced that their plans to "worm their
way into the APPLE market" with the 820 should offset my basic
analysis that says large scale users, such as TECOM, should more
likely consider UNIX/XENIX as a preferred "Domain for software

Cheers - Stef

Date: 10 Jun 81 21:01:17-EDT (Wed)
From: Dave Farber <farber at udel>
Re:   FYI: [Dave Farber <farber@udel>: Xerox "worms into Apple?"]

I also agree that the 820 should in no way impact plans for Unix.
CP/M is just not Unix.  It does not grow the way Unix does.  It is
strictly a Micro system, while Unix is much much wider in


Date: 10 Jun 81 21:23:29-EDT (Wed)
From: Dave Farber <farber at udel>
Re:   FYI: [Dave Farber <farber@udel>: Xerox "worms into App...

I just want to restate clearly my view.  CP/M is competitive with Unix
ONLY in small systems like the Z80, 8086 etc class machines.  There is
NOwhere to grow and no chance from my view of any growth for CP/M.
That still makes CP/M a good candidate for the small marketplace and
the home market but as a basis for office systems in places that will
grow, I think not.

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