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VMS Operating System Is 30 Years Old
Written by Gizmo   
Monday, 05 November 2007 23:26

By Charles Babcock

The venerable VMS operating system from Digital Equipment Corp. just turned 30 years old. And hardly anyone noticed.

Nevertheless, in an industry in which change is a constant, VMS has few peers in its age bracket. The hoary software of the IBM mainframe also is more than 30 years old, but that's mainly because it's embedded in a kind of castle that won't fall.

Read the full story at Information Week:

VMS never had a castle. It succeeded at first as the prime operating system of the DEC VAX minicomputer. As Data General, IBM, Wang, and others moved into minis, DEC stayed ahead with its VAX architecture powered by VMS. VMS could run a VAX efficiently; for that matter, it could run whole clumps of VAXes, known as VAXclusters.

As VAX crumbled, VMS moved on. It powered the Alpha line of servers brought out first by DEC, then Compaq. When Compaq was bought by Hewlett-Packard, VMS--now known as OpenVMS--moved on again, this time to Intel Itanium architecture servers.

VMS was designed by Dave Cutler when he was one of the top programmers at DEC. Cutler would move on also, putting his development talents to work at Microsoft, where his experience led to leadership of the Windows NT project. NT's security gains over earlier forms of Windows flowed directly from his VMS experience.

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