Networking: Turbulence 1981-1982
The PBX, the IBM PC and the Chaos of Competition
8.18 Bridge Communications
With $2 million in the bank after closing a second round financing in February 1982, Bridge Communications management had to commit to a product architecture. For a microprocessor, they had a better choice than the Zilog Z-80, the newly available 16/32 bit 68000 from Motorola. For a networking operating system, they too decided on XNS. Bill Carrico remembers:
“We did Ethernet and XNS because those were the things that were closest to being a standard. We had no interest in doing an OmniNet -like thing, or anything like that. XNS, by the way, is clearly the best local area network protocol ever written, and is dramatically superior in performance to TCP/IP. We did XNS, and we did not do TCP/IP, because we knew that it had a lot of warts in a local area network situation. It was reasonably easy to sell XNS early on because at least it was in the public domain.”
In December, Bridge Communications began shipping its first product: a terminal communications server. Having started its product development cycle almost two years after Ungermann-Bass, it was able to incorporate the latest technologies into its products, gaining a needed edge in their competition with the more established and larger Ungermann-Bass.