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This document describes a proposal to provide a source form, royalty free Unix as an evolution of the COSE effort, as a means of unifying the Unix desktop market, and as an application deployment platform, with a focus on running all applications, including those from other operating systems, such as DOS and Windows 3.1. This effort is intended to provide substance to the many Unix unification and standard agreements that exist today. Significant effort has been made to address the concerns of the major Unix vendors, the Unix customer base, the DOS customer base, the Windows 3.1 customer base, the educational and research community, and the development community.

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    OK, some historical background on COSE: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Open_Software_Environment

    It was a standards effort from the SUUSHI list of companies: (Old) SCO, the Unix System Laboratories, Univel, Sun, HP, and IBM. They were the proprietary Unix world of the time, and they were running headlong into Microsoft and Windows NT. They wouldn’t last, either as Unix vendors or at all, for much longer.

    Meanwhile, in the Open Source Unix realm, Open Source BSDs were already being established in the x86 world (NetBSD dates to 1993, for example) and Linux would hit 1.0 the following year. The Apache HTTP server would be released in 1995, Perl had existed since the 1980s, Python since 1991, and, of course, the GNU userspace and development tools were already well-known from wide usage on proprietary Unix systems, especially subsequent to unbundling which made getting vendor-supplied C compilers, for example, rather expensive at times.

    https://utcc.utoronto.ca/~cks/space/blog/unix/ATTUnixUnbundlingDamage

    The point is, this effort was doomed on both fronts: The proprietary world had already de-facto moved to Microsoft, and the Open Source world largely didn’t need it, because newer, better environments were being developed completely independently. Probably a good thing, given that I doubt “royalty free” would have included patent dedications or similar.