Page Two

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2003-07-31 Print this article Print

Suns latest announcement of support for SuSE Linux comes as controversy swirls around the open-source operating system. The SCO Group, which says Linux is an unauthorized derivative of Unix, is suing IBM for more than $1 billion in a contract dispute.

Sun last month also expanded its licensing arrangements with SCO to use Unix in its Solaris operating system. But, at the same time, SCO granted Sun a warrant to buy as many as 210,000 shares of SCO stock at $1.83 per share as part of the licensing deal.
Sun also appears to be playing both sides of the fence with regard to the Linux controversy. It has indemnified customers who use its Solaris kernel, but has not done so with regard to customers using Linux. Sun CEO Scot McNealy recently told eWEEK that "youll have to go ask Red Hat if they will indemnify you on Linux. … If SCO decides to go after end users and ask for a royalty, that is a liability the end users are taking on." Read Scott McNealys thoughts on Linux and Unix. Suns Wettersten would only say that Sun holds the intellectual property rights for Solaris and is unaffected by the current SCO lawsuit against IBM. "We continue to reassure our customers on that and are actively working with our partners. But thats all I can say," she said. (Editors Note: This story has been updated since its original posting to include comments from Sun VP Ann Wettersten and SuSE CTO Jurgen Geck.)

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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