Multics was an operating system resulting of a DARPA
financed project at MIT. General Electric (Bull being at that time a part of) bid for a
derivative of the GE-635.
While not being formally in GE's catalog, the 645 was promoted in Europe as early as 1965, as an umbrella for GE-600 sales. In 1966, the GE-600 entered in a debacle that lasted until 1969. MULTICS operating system was still in limbo and emerged as a technically successful venture around 1971, after the Honeywell take-over.
The first system installed in Europe was the Bull's internal software factory installed in 1972 on a 645, one of the last 645 produced.
Multics promotion and sales started again in 1974 with the introduction of Level 68 and peaked with the CII-Honeywell Bull merger of 1975. The customer base were initially scientific users of CII Iris 80. Later, in the early 1980s, when government agencies and companies were firmly asked to buy Bull systems instead of IBM, they often preferred to acquire an additional Multics system from Bull than to convert their IBM production system to GCOS 8.
As Multics is deeply documented in the Web, it is not planned to duplicate here the technical and historic documentation gathered by the Multicians.
Revision : 19 février 2002.