Skip to main content
Go or No SCO

I’ve been deliberately silent about the legal squabble between SCO (The Santa Cruz Operation) and just about everyone else other than Microsoft over Linux and who owns the rights to the code contained therein – Allegedly.

There are two very good reasons for this. The first being that the editor will, quite probably leave many of my comments ‘On the cutting room floor’ and the second being that litigation stories of this kind are the Computer Weekly equivalent of counting sheep at bedtime.



Not content to fight its corner against IBM, Red Hat and most of the Penguin-fancying world, SCO now plans to frustrate Novell's purchase of SuSE , alleging – that word again – that this would put it in violation of a much older non-competitive agreement, signed in 1995, between Novell and SCO as part of their UNIX System V software agreement.

At the time, Novell was casting around for answers, any answers to the looming inevitability of Windows NT, parked, like the Star Wars ‘Death Star’, right across its corporate parking lot in Utah. UNIX seemed like a good idea at the time as it revealed the weaknesses in Microsoft’s network Operating System ambitions as it started its march off the desktop and into the Enterprise.

Today, Novell has one real chance for survival and that lies with Linux. The Netware, upon which it built the company, represents a law of diminishing returns and Linux is becoming fashionable in all the right places, particularly the poorer sectors of the market where customers are still hanging on to Netware because they can’t afford the costs of a Windows migration. In this respect, one might describe Novell’s acquisition of SuSe as either an upgrade path or a lifeline to its customers.

If SCO stops the deal going through on the basis that a Novell/SuSe Linux competes with its own UNIX-based products, this is only going to further hurt everyone involved in bringing Linux into the mainstream. Already, the IBM and Red Hat involvement is causing a level of nervousness among Enterprise customers. After all, when you buy your software, you want to know who owns what and where the responsibility stops, which has always been a problem with Linux and one that had only been recently resolved before the SCO action appeared on the scene.

The action leaves Novell with a stark choice. Fight SCO through the courts and shelve progress until a decision is made, which could take years if we use the example of Microsoft and Sun Microsystems fighting over Java as an example. Alternatively, pay SCO off because like Novell, SCO is also looking at an uncertain future, built very much upon UNIX in a world that is adopting Linux rapidly. All the legal activity around Linux has stopped SCO dead in the water and from where I sit, it’s best potential revenue stream may come from settlements with the likes of Novell and IBM. Either way, Linux loses until the matter of ownership and non-competitive activity is resolved and Microsoft enjoys a valuable breathing space while it considers how best to react to the potential loss of markets, such as South-east Asia, Germany and Brazil to the Penguin invasion.

Meanwhile, while it’s good to see the strategic importance of Linux reflected in a series of messy legal actions it doesn’t do business any favours and while IBM, Red Hat and Novell tag wrestle with SCO, the rest of us are left wondering how such large companies can behave like so many small children.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

A Christmas Tale

It’s pitch blackness in places along the sea wall this evening and I'm momentarily startled by a small dog with orange flashing yuletide antlers along the way. I’m the only person crazy enough to be running and I know the route well enough to negotiate it in the dark, part of my Christmas exercise regime and a good way of relieving stress.

Why stress you might ask. After all, it is Christmas Day.

True but I’ve just spent over two hours assembling the giant Playmobil ‘Pony Farm’ set when most other fathers should be asleep in front of the television.



I was warned that the Playmobil ‘Pirate Ship’ had driven some fathers to drink or suicide and now I understand why. If your eyesight isn’t perfect or if you’ve had a few drinks with your Christmas lunch then it’s a challenge best left until Boxing day but not an option if you happen to have a nine year old daughter who wants it ready to take horses by tea time.

Perhaps I should stick to technology but then, the instruc…

Merlins over Thanet

Marooned, temporarily at Manston this afternoon are the Merlins over Malta team on the way to the Mediterranean for a display to mark the historic Second World War defence of the island.


Charlie Brown

Unfortunately, the weather over Thanet is appalling this afternoon and the Spitfire and Hurricane can’t get airborne again until it clears, so the celebrity Battle of Britain aircraft pilots, Charlie Brown, Clive Denny and their team-mates are contemplating an evening among the fleshpots of Margate.


Clive Denny (Hurricane) & Charlie Brown (Spitfire) Pilots

I’m rather hoping the weather it will clear through though as they have to get to Jersey before dusk if possible and I have to take some photos of the Spitfire and Hurricane for Pilot Magazine and I’ve always wanted a chance to get in either aircraft!

An Interview with Charlie Brown

They just got off, squadron scramble or what? They were ready and gone in ten minutes towards the nearest patch of blue sky!

An interview with the legendary S…
Median Saleh

I mentioned in the last post, the 1981 expedition that took in Median Saleh, the ruined Nabatean city in Saudi Arabia


A temple carved from the rock from Petra's sister city.

By coincidence, one of the most important train stations on the Hejaz railway sat next to the ruins and when Lawrence of Arabia blew the line in 1917, the trains were trapped there and are still there today, gathering dust and with "Krupp" on the engine casings.


One of the trains, sitting where T.E. Lawrence left themwith Dr Paul Garnett as the passenger

Below, you can see one of the fortified train stations that Lawrence attacked along the Hejaz railway between Damascus and Medina.



More photos Medain Saleh can be found on THIS Site - Apparently you can catch a tourist bus these days, rather different from risking life and limb to cross an unfriendly Saudi Arabia twenty years ago!