VMS V1 was released in August 1978. VMS was renamed "OpenVMS" around version 5.5. The first version of VMS on DEC Alpha was known as OpenVMS for AXP V1.0, and the correct way to refer to the operating system now is OpenVMS for VAX or OpenVMS for Alpha. The renaming also signified the fact that the X/Open consortium had certified OpenVMS as having a high support for POSIX standards.
VMS is one of the most secure operating systems on the market (making it popular in financial institutions). It currently (October 1997) has the best clustering capability (both number and distance) and is very scalable with binaries portable from small desktop workstations up to huge mainframes.
[How does its performance compare with other OSes?]