Xenix was Microsoft's version of UNIX, licensed from AT&T back in the late 70s, then later acquired by the Santa Cruz Operation (SCO) and distributed as SCO UNIX. Microsoft did not sell Xenix directly to end-users, but instead licensed it to OEMs.
Xenix was originally based AT&T UNIX System III, but also incorporated elements from BSD. Version 2.0 was based on UNIX System V, and later ported to 32bit / i386, and also introduced TCP/IP and SCSI support.
Trusted Information systems also developed a Trusted Xenix variant, using the Bell-LaPadula model of multilevel security and achieved a NSA B2 rating (TCSEC) - the second highest rating ever achieved by an evaluated operating system.
Overall, it was a pretty complete UNIX system (later versions got as large as 96 5.25" floppy disks) and came with The X Window System, ed, vi, sh, csh, vsh, uucp, terminfo, mapchan and so on.
Good news is, you can run it yourself. There's at least 3 ways to run Xenix:
I. i386 Xenix
- Track down a 386 version... my floppies are all dead X-D
- Install using qemu
- Get the Xenix floppy images from http://www.catcorner.org/Tandy/ - This is a complete Xenix install for the Tandy 6000 series.
- Get a Tandy 6000 or write an emulator (none exists from what I've seen).
- Get a copy of Xenix for LISA: http://memo5.dyndns.org/Sites/Lisa/softs/othersofts.html - it took me a while to track this one down.
- Get a LISA Emulator: http://lisa.sunder.net - LisaEM is an Open Source multiplatform LISA Emulator.
Here's some Xenix documentation to get you started: http://www.tenox.tc/docs/
- Apple Lisa XENIX Programmers Guide
- Apple Lisa XENIX Programmers Reference
- IBM XENIX C Compiler Reference
- IBM XENIX Command Reference
- IBM XENIX Programmers Guide To Library Functions
- Microsoft Multiplan for the XENIX OS
- Microsoft XENIX 286 Press Release
- Microsoft XENIX 3.0 Release Summary
- Microsoft XENIX OEM Directory
- Microsoft XENIX Programmers Manual
- Tandy Xenix Customizing Scripsit 16
- Tandy Xenix Introducing Your Tandy 6000
- Tandy The System Administrators Guide To Xenix
- Tandy Xenix The Users Guide To Xenix
- Tandy Using Xenix 3.2.0