AlphaWindows was a proposed industry standard from the Display Industry Association (an industry consortium in California) in the early 1990s that would allow a single CRT screen to implement multiple windows, each of which was to behave as a distinct computer terminal. Individual vendors offered products based on this in 1992 through the end of the 1990s. and after,
These products were targeted at a low-end market: "for users that don't need the processing power of a personal computer or the complexity of an X Window terminal, the AlphaWindow terminals and software provides the same look and feel of windows-based graphical user interfaces on an Alphanumeric terminal".
The initial concept relied on custom (but low-cost) terminals which would support mouse interaction, (text) windowing support, and colored text. With that, plus special host software, the vendors proposed to support semi-graphical applications "transparently".
The Display Industry Association was at the same location as Cumulus Technology (the same street address in Palo Alto, CA). Cumulus was a manufacturer of displays since 1986. Cumulus was heavily involved with development of the AlphaWindows standard. The members of the association in 1993 were:
- Terminal vendors
- AT&T / NCR / ADDS (partnership)
- Link / Wyse (partnership)
- Siemens / Nixdorf (partnership)
- Software vendors
JSB Software Technologies produced MultiView Mascot. As noted in Unix Review:
MultiView Mascot helps users access graphical applications, such as Web sites and e-mail systems, from a character-based browser. It does so by mapping graphical applications to a multiwindowed character system. Although there is the inevitable loss of graphics and formatting, the result is surprisingly workable. A hot-key feature allows any old character terminal to offer switching between multiple applications at the same time, with no programming required.
SSSI (Structured Software Solutions, Inc.) produced the FacetTerm session multiplexer.
- Richard Shuford, ed. ""Alphawindows" -- a windowing setup for character-cell video terminals".
- Information Technology Standards Guidance — User Interface Services. 3 of 14. U. S. Department of Defense. April 7, 1997.
- "First AlphaWindows Character-Based Terminals Set For To Appear in May, At From $600...". CBRonline.com. 1992-02-14.
- New Products (July/August 1992). "Cumulus Technology Announces Support for New AlphaWindow Standard". Sys Admin Magazine.
- "Microvitec First Past Post in Europe with AlphaWindows Terminals; IBM OEM Pact in Prospect...". CBRonline.com. 1992-08-12.
- Brad Myers (March 1995). "User Interface Software Tools".
- "Cumulus Technology Wins Contract from Unisys". CBRonline.com. 1988-01-18.
- "Company Summary — Cumulus Technology Ltd.". March 1994.
- David Kallman (1997-05-21). "Did Cumulus drop off the face of the earth, again?? (HP3000-L mailing list comment)".
- Henry Keultjes (2005-05-04). "Small Box 'To End Digital Divide' (InterLUG mailing list comment)".
- Tim Parker (March 1999). "MultiView v. 4 — Breathing new life into old character-based UNIX applications is easier with MultiView.". Unix Review.
- "JSB reports record revenues increase". E-consultancy. 2000-07-05.
- "SurfControl sells off MultiView". E-consultancy. 2001-02-19.
- "Structured Software Solutions, Inc. Again Named to Fast Tech 50". FacetCorp. May 1996.
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