back to article Fed budget cuts, lower mainframe sales hit Unisys

Lower overall spending by Uncle Sam and a slowdown in ClearPath mainframe purchases combined to push Unisys to a loss in the second quarter. Sales were off 9.6 per cent in Q2 to $937.2m, and the company posted a net loss of $11.6m compared to a gain of $120.2m in the year-ago period. For the first six months of 2011, revenues at …

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Unisys isn't the only non-IBM mainframe supplier...

Fujitsu, Bull, Hitachi, and NEC all have mainframe businesses. I don't know enough to comment on Hitachi and NEC, but Bull and Fujitsu TS both have solid customer bases in Europe, and Fujitsu and Hitachi evidently have decided that mainframes are worth enough for them to continue fabbing their own mainframe CMOS processors.

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Boffin

IBM "compatible"?

Aren't the mainframes by the companies you list all IBM "compatible" meaning they run some version of IBM software? I know the Fujitsu boxes will run BS2000 but don't they also run an IBM OS variant?

The OS2200 boxes certainly do not as these machines are great grand children of the 1100 Series machine, 36bit word, 1's complement binary (that means zero has a sign), with an instruction set only a mother could love.

Any move to an IBM like machine architecture would require all that COBOL code plus all the transaction processing to be re-written.

I am available for short engagements if they start looking for appropriately experienced coders (who are still alive).

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Re: IBM "compatible"?

The Bull and NEC systems are certainly not IBM-compatible, as they're Itanium systems emulating the old 36-bit GE/Honeywell platforms and running GCOS or ACOS.

Fujitsu and Hitachi's systems are technically /390 compatible, but as far as I know there's no way to license an IBM operating system for them. Fujitsu's Japanese-market operating system (XSP and MSP) are very similar to VSE and MVS though.

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WTF?

surprised not so much by the red ink ...

... as much as the fact that they still exist.

They never recovered from the tender mercies of Blumenthal and the cycles of layoffs

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I was under the impression that much like IBM,

they are now more of a "services" company than a hardware vendor. Mostly pursuing inside the beltway bandito type contracts.

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