My Take On The SCO / Linux Issue
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Thread: My Take On The SCO / Linux Issue

  1. #1

    My Take On The SCO / Linux Issue

    Please be advised that the following is only my opinion. I could be wrong about the whole thing. I have listed links to some of the articles that I have read and would greatly appreciate any input. This is my first big post to AO and I have not written a non-technical paper like this since college.


    My Take On The SCO / Unix / Linux Debacle

    Caldera purchases SCO. They donít get the full rights to Unix, Novell has that, but they get enough for their purposes. Caldera decides to try and integrate Unix and Linux while they are selling Unix. Caldera sees the amount of money they are getting for their Unix sales and they donít see much with the Linux work. Caldera nows calls themselves SCO to bring focus to their Unix products. This includes moving some of their Unix programmers to the Linux team and that is important to remember for later. The next stage of the game is about to begin.
    SCO sees that Linux is really starting to take market share away from Unix. Unless you are using a product that must run Unix, why would you? There are still many money issues for a business that is thinking of moving to Linux to hammer out, including the cost of trained technical personnel for supporting Linux. Is it really less expensive overall? That remains to be seen but in the short term, Linux cost less than Unix. How should SCO slow this process of businesses moving to Linux? They look at history.
    During the MS-DOS / DR-DOS wars, of which Caldera (now SCO), Novell and Microsoft were involved, Microsoft was losing market share of MS-DOS to DR-DOS. DR-DOS apparently was a better DOS and people were aware of this. Microsoft used FUD (Fear Uncertainty and Doubt), and vaporware to try and slow down the expansion of DR-DOS. They also seemed to have changed some of the code in an early Windows beta version so that it would bring up an error in the event that a user was installing Windows on DR-DOS. This was removed in the final release but enough FUD was spread to cause some concern. Much more was done and you can view the article at (
    SCO talks to Novell about getting some more rights to Unix. An addendum is placed in the contract (sometime in 1996 that seems to give them all rights to Unix. So now SCO stops all work on their Linux product line. They move their programmers back to the Unix teams and start spreading FUD that is reminiscent of the MS-DOS wars. SCO states that there is Unix code that they own in Linux. They file suit against IBM for using Linux that has their Unix code. A few letters are written (1500) to businesses stating they could be in trouble for using Linux since there is SCO Unix code in it. This of course causes businesses who were thinking about moving to Linux to wait until the outcome of this Unix / Linux issue. SCO is starting to slow the migration to Linux.
    IBM responds and Novell jumps in with their ideas and accusations. Everyone wants to see the code that SCO is stating is in Linux. SCO holds back and then states a few groups will see it, but only under strict NDCís. SCO shows the code and it appears that there is some Unix code in Linux. How did it get there?
    There are several opinions about the origin of the rouge code. One is that SCO, when it was working on a Unix / Linux integration and had moved some of their Unix programmers to the Linux teams, could have placed the code there themselves. Open Source Linux programmers could have placed the Unix code at some point in the past. Or IBM, who also is working on Linux solutions, could have placed it in the Linux source. Of course there are many other ways that I have not thought of. The problem I see is, how do we find out how this has happened?
    This battle is going to get very ugly and can only cause problems for all of the partiesí involved. SCOís stock, which was on the rise, has dropped since their announcements. The movement of Linux into the market may get slowed down and it is conceivable that Linux could be removed from the servers of businesses that get concerned about a possible lawsuit. It is going to be an interesting summer.


  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    not bad for a first big post.

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