ARCHIVED: What are the Open Group, X/Open, and OSF?

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The Open Group is an organization that promotes, develops, and licenses open standards software, especially Unix. It formed in 1996 with the merger of the X/Open Company Ltd. and the Open Software Foundation (OSF).

In 1984, X/Open was founded by a group of European vendors. The organization's mission was to promote standards for open architecture systems, with an emphasis on Unix. Its cause was significantly bolstered in 1993 when Novell delivered the UNIX trademark into its control. For a company to use the UNIX brand name with its operating system, it must meet specific requirements, notably the X/Open Portability Guide (XPG) standards, a superset of the IEEE/ANSI POSIX standard.

OSF formed in 1988 in reaction to the efforts of Sun Microsystems and AT&T to revise System V. The vendors behind OSF, including IBM, Hewlett-Packard, and DEC (now part of HP), wanted to create an alternative to SVR4 that was not controlled by any particular company. Unlike X/Open, which concerned itself primarily with organizing standards and licensing, OSF was in the business of developing software specifications. Its more influential products are DCE, Motif, and OSF/1.

For more information about the Open Group, visit its web page at:

At Indiana University, for personal or departmental Linux or Unix systems support, see Get help for Linux or Unix at IU.

This is document agoq in the Knowledge Base.
Last modified on 2018-01-18 12:25:35.