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The port wasn't motivated by the development groups. It was sold to management as a word processing / typesetting system.

I vividly remember my first encounter with Unix, in an ACM journal archive at the local university library as a teenager in the late '70s, utterly astonished to find lower-case computer commands and prompts.

True, the development groups weren't too keen on Unix. They wanted to choose the minicomputer and operating system from those commercially available and get on with developing applications without the risks and effort of using an unproven operating system. But Research always wanted to demonstrate that they were contributing to the company, so eventually Unix had to be adopted.

Use by development groups for Western Electric products was different from the in-house Unix systems run by the Bell Labs data center that were used as time shared systems for email, general computing, and document production using nroff and memo macros. Moving away from all upper case made line printers less efficient, but about that time laser phototypesetting became available.

The main thing at the time was that mixed-case Teletypes were becoming common.

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