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  • The Mark Williams Company was a small software company in Chicago, Illinois that created Coherent, one of the first Unix-like operating systems for IBM PCs and several C programming language compilers. It was founded by Robert Swartz in 1980 and discontinued operations in 1995. The name comes from the middle name of Robert Swartz's father, William Mark Swartz. Robert Swartz moved the company into software with his father's help and the company became known as the Mark Williams Company. Mark Williams won a patent lawsuit centered on 'byte ordering'. Separately and at that time, Linux had made serious inroads in the UNIX clone market. Being that Coherent was a commercially available package and Linux was distributed freely on the Internet via their GNU public license, Coherent sales plummeted and Swartz had no choice but to cease operations in 1995. Robert Swartz is the father of internet activist Aaron Swartz.

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